Yesterday (March 13), I presented at the SCSC Young Writers’ Conference for 7-9th graders. I did the keynote opening program about “From Here to There by Way of the Zoo,” subtitled, “Prairie-Dogging Your Way to a Story,” using animal metaphors to talk about patterns of writing to completion, and how we can use odd things we find in everyday life to weave together a coherent whole story. I think it went well–at least the auditorium full of junior high students was attentive the whole time.
Somebody threw up, but otherwise it went smoothly. 🙂 At leas I had fun. That should count for something, right?
Then I did three sessions on creating a character out of thin air, using an exercise I do in Creative Writing class. Each student makes up a story element (character, setting, problem, twist), puts it in the appropriate bucket, and then draws an element from each bucket. Weaving these different elements together is always the challenge, but can make for some delightful storylines. It was fun, and nearly every single student in each session had a great start on a story by the time they left the class.
I did meet a lot of wonderful young teens, many of whom are excellent writers!