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Students are often told to write what they know, but are often bored and uninspired by the thought of writing about their own lives.
Saltwater Vampires uses the shipwreck of the Batavia as the starting point for a modern day vampire story. As a premise, it seems impossibly removed from the world of the author, but the writing relies heavily on personal experience.
Using the novel to provide examples, students are shown how they can use their own experiences, emotional responses, empathy, observations and research to flesh out their characters and stories.
This session is highly interactive and works well with large groups (especially younger secondary students).
Summer Skin is a modern day romance set in the hook-up culture of campus life. Ultimately optimistic, the novel examines some of the pressures unique to this generation of young adults. It looks at what’s happening to intimacy and gender roles with so much skewed sexual content available online, and with social media making lives […]
This workshop provides an in-depth analysis of the decision making process inherent in writing creative fiction. Participants learn through discussion and example, and then put the principles learned immediately into practice via a series of exercises designed to assist in the planning and writing of their own creative piece. Topics: Character Story Theme World building/setting […]
Modern storytelling relies heavily on scenes to advance the narrative. Being able to write a scene well is fundamental to good writing. The decision-making process involved is conducive to getting students started. By deconstructing scenes in a range of fiction, students gain an understanding of the elements necessary to writing strong scenes. The principles learned […]
Students are stepped through the process of building a compelling character, uncover that character’s story and begin their own work of fiction. Topics: The components of character Wants, flaws, needs, conflict The character’s wider world Story options A scene to start
Student writing is often directly inspired by the films and books they enjoy. While useful as a starting point, these works can seem derivative, stale and unconvincing. Summer Skin is a novel that fulfils the conventions of a romance novel, but departs from the basic storyline in several ways. Using Summer Skin and several other […]
The human brain is hardwired for story. Being able to tell a story well is a fundamental life skill, and something that will serve you well whatever your vocation. More than that, the stories we tell ourselves shape the way we see the world. Sixteen years ago, Kirsty made the decision to walk away from […]
Kirsty talks about her stories and her writing process in detail, highlighting the applications to students’ own writing and storytelling. Topics: Where she gets her ideas How she shapes a story The basics of good writing The difference between writing and re-writing -and why it matters Her journey to becoming a published author, and why […]