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Andrew McDonald: Writing Workshop (for Primary or Secondary Workshop)

Session Info:

In this workshop, bestselling author Andrew McDonald talks about the building blocks of a great story and shares his best writing tricks to help kids:

  • generate their own story ideas
  • create three-dimensional characters
  • plan and plot out a story
  • write with evocative language.

The workshops begin with everyone creating a weird but wonderful character, focusing especially on character traits, motivations and emotions.

Then the focus turns to language as the group examines how to construct the best names, descriptions, action sequences, jokes, sentences, beginnings and ends to a story.

A story involving the character is then planned and plotted out, making sure the story has well-timed highs and lows.

The final activity sees everything (character, language, plot) come together as everyone writes their story.

Each kid will leave the workshop with a new story – and an understanding of how it came to be.

Andrew will bring his PowerPoint presentation on his own MacBook – along with a variety of different adapters (including HDMI) to plug directly into a school projector. He also brings a USB (suitable for Macs or PCs) as a backup.

No internet connection is required and the presentation does not contain video or audio.

Andrew has run writing workshops for many primary and secondary schools – as well as for organisations such as the State Library of Victoria 100 Story Building and the Melbourne Writers Festival.

Topics covered:

  • Idea generation
  • Story design and planning
  • Turning real life experiences into fiction
  • Creating characters
  • Writing humour
  • Using evocative language
  • Writing sentences that jump off the page

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