I am a bad blogger. The people who are good at this write several times a week. Maybe my PDCA should be to blog once a month.
I want to let you know, my Middle School Students, that I FEEL YOUR PAIN. About writing. (But it isn’t going to change me from being the Citation Nazi for the rest of your school career.)
I told you in class how I found a story I’d started like three years ago, and actually had the urge to finish it. So I’ve been writing on it. And it is hard! I have these ideas and images and plot elements in my head, but then it comes to put it on paper and it is nothing like what I’m seeing. For example, the main character shares some very significant news with her best friend…and the best I can come up with is
M. stepped over and hugged her. “Ah, I’m sorry. But girl, your life is messed up.”
T. returned her hug thankfully. “You’re not kidding.”
There should be a LOT more emotion in that. A lot more description. And yes, mine is a rough draft that I may never take to a final, publishable copy…but still, I want to say more and I just end up with boring words. Really…M. is furious at T. for the position she’s put herself in, but knows that there’s no way for T. to change things. And she just steps up and hugs her. Awww. (eye roll)
So I feel your pain. We asked you to write a Historical Fiction piece. Some of you really got the objective of the assignment and produced a good product. But I saw others of you just hate the assignment…because writing good (historical) fiction is hard.
I’m not sure I have any earth-shattering encouragement or reassurance for you (or if you even want any from your teacher) but I’m going to type them anyway. You will be writing for us for the next four to five years and if you dread it as much as a Senior as you do now, we haven’t really done part of our job as teachers. So here’s what I think will help…
Mrs. Stading’s Encouragement for Writing Fiction
1. If you read fiction, you’ll get better at writing fiction.
2. The more pre-planning you put into your stories, the easier they will be to write. (Honestly, the plot map — you know, that line that looks like a mountain? — is SO helpful. Do it.)
3. Give yourself time to THINK on what you are writing. Don’t wait until the last minute.
4. Find some way to put your personal interests into your writing. (Admittedly, I’m going to get bored if every story you all submit is somehow related to basketball. But if it makes you a better writer, I’ll get over it!)
5. Collaborate about your writing. Read it to a peer…or three, especially your peers who are readers. Bounce ideas off someone who is interested in what you are writing. (My sister is like, just get that story done already, as many ideas as she’s been hearing…she wants to read it. I told her she’d read it sooner if she typed it up for me. I haven’t heard back from her since then. :-] )
Fiction writing doesn’t go away — you’ll be writing a myth soon — let’s learn how to do this better together. I’ll keep at my story if you’ll strive to better writers in yours. Deal?