I was asked to do a couple of hours on writing during the Best of Books summer camp. I’m late reporting on it. It was during Olympic season, so I decided to go with a sports theme to make it more interesting for them. We read sections of stories by me (mostly because it was short notice) including first glimpse of part a new work involving a sport approximating the game of football, also excerpts from Country Club Kids (tennis) – available in my book Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, and my teen/young adult novel Musical Youth (boxing); the new work seemed to be their favourite. We had some discussion questions for general group interaction, then they worked in teams to identify as many of the action words and dynamic descriptors in my story excerpts as they could find. Then they got to practice using them in their own original fiction after watching some youtubed Olympic footage for inspiration. The Olympic footage got even the non-writers in the group engaged and we got to talking about some of the great Olympic moments we witnessed – one of the participants ended up writing about those moments instead of original fiction but that’s okay; at least he was writing. In two hours, there’s only so much you can do so if I got them writing, I was happy. It took a little while to get to happy. Some required a little more coaching and one or two focused on finishing (read: rushing) the story rather than capturing a moment in as much detail and with as much action as served the moment as directed; but, in the end, everyone wrote something and received a critique. Plus I distributed flyers for the 2017 season of Wadadli Pen, so hopefully they’ll be doing even more writing. Gooooaaaallll!!!!
Post-note: the organizer of the camp/Best of Books manager informs me that one of the most silent, reluctant-seeming participants had one of the best reviews.”Kid who appeared to be asleep in your session went home and told her people it was ‘amazing’ and detailed how it will make what she writes better … she just wished it wasn’t a sports theme .. would have preferred something more general.” Go figure.
As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, Fish Outta Water, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen, my books, and my freelance writing-editing-coaching-workshop services. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.