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November 14, 2009

Writing Stories Together

Everybody loves a good story. Writing can be fun as well as expressive, and writing a story as a group project can be...

...even better.

How about writing a fiction story as a group project?

Here are some websites and strategies to get going:

To develop a character, take a look at some of the questions at http://www.writingclasses.com/InformationPages/index.php/PageID/106.

Here a few thought provoking questions from the website to give you sense of how to get started;

• What is your character’s name? Does the character have a nickname?

• Does your character have a birthmark? Where is it? What about scars? How did he get them?

• Who are your character’s friends and family? Who does she surround herself with? Who are the people your character is closest to? Who does he wish he were closest to?

• Where was your character born? Where has she lived since then? Where does she call home?

• Where does your character go when he’s angry?

• What is her biggest fear? Who has she told this to? Who would she never tell this to? Why?

• What makes your character laugh out loud?

• When has your character been in love? Had a broken heart?

And consider these character questions for a bit more depth;
• What is in your character’s refrigerator right now? On her bedroom floor? On her nightstand? In her garbage can?

• Your character is doing intense spring cleaning. What is easy for her to throw out? What is difficult for her to part with? Why?

• It’s Saturday at noon. What is your character doing? Give details. If he’s eating breakfast, what exactly does he eat? If she’s stretching out in her backyard to sun, what kind of blanket or towel does she lie on?

• What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?

• Your character is getting ready for a night out. Where is she going? What does she wear? Who will she be with?

If you have some ideas for parts of a story, or if you want to read a story as it is being written, take a look at http://storymash.com/. Storymash is a collaborative project where writers can enter in at any time and help guide the direction of a continuing story. Sound like fun to you? It does to me.

My intention in teaching English is far more than mastery of grammar and vocabulary. I want my students to be equipped to comprehend and make sense of the world around them. Part of comprehending is to understand, but another important part is to make something known and part of one's self.

And of course, there are few experiences more satisfying than fully expressing one's self - especially in a learned language.

It is good to remember that we are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together. We can learn as much from the past as from the present.

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at November 14, 2009 12:12 AM

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