Every Tuesday I write a slice of life and share it at Two Writing Teachers.
Meeting with my writing group is life giving for me and even as the end of the school year is upon us I am glad I am taking the time to do this project.
I had mentioned in my previous writing club post that the discussion process needed some work. I decided to pose a question to the group that they would have to answer individually and then we would popcorn after that to agree, disagree or pose a related question to what the rest of the group said. I will say that once the expectation of collaborative conversation was presented they did a much better job. My next step is to get them to talk more to each other rather than bouncing everything off me. I do not want to be the center of the conversation, only a part of it.
The question was “What is the perfect life?”
The story used for reading like a writer was Popular Mechanics by Raymond Carver.
Here is the list of craft moves/ideas for their own writing they gleaned from the text and discussion:
+Use the title
+Write sentences that conjure strong visualization in the reader
+Write about fighting over an object or a picture that represents a bigger idea
+Write a story with 2 characters
+Write the story about what happens before this story
+Write the story of what happens after this story
+Start with action – dive right in with a big moment
+ Open with a paragraph and talks about the weather to se the mood for the story
+Use a last line that leads to more than one conclusion
We then finished the session with a 4 minute freewrite. The pencils were feverishly writing on their paper at my tables.
–One was a flash piece full of strong emotion and sadness.
–One was the before story – what happened to explain why the couple was fighting
They noticed lines I glazed over and had specific reflections with text evidence.
I was gifted with 45 minutes of time with these students. It went by quick. I sent them a link to storyaday and the challenge I participate in every May and September.
I think I am going to use some of Sandra Cisneros stories from The House on Mango street next.