The young writers of Amazing Amy’s Writing Club have certainly been busy over the last two meetings of our group. Sometimes our imaginations (and by extension our pens and pencils) run away with us, and an idea grabs hold that we just have to stick with. And so we do.
For instance, during last week’s meeting we discussed the importance of point-of-view and the perspective of the narrator when telling a story. We also learned a little bit about the distinction between a first-person narrative and one told in third-person. This brought us to a discussion of looking at the other side of the story–that is looking at a familiar tale from the point-of-view of one who is not the hero or heroine. Or in other words, what would the bad guy’s version of the story be? Probably something quite different from that of our hero’s. So, we took on the challenge of getting into the minds of such well-known villains as Captain Hook, Gollum, and the ubiquitous wicked step-mother to tell their versions of the story. A task that spilled over into this week’s meeting as well.
When we met yesterday evening we took some time to revisit our vindicated villains before moving on to our next writing approach. This time we learned the original purpose of fairy tales. We learned that often such tales were originally used to give children caution and to teach them such lessons as filial obedience. For example, in the original tale of Little Red Riding Hood, Red disobeys the advice of her mother and instead of outsmarting the wolf or being saved by a woodsman as in later versions, she is gobbled up for good and that is (shockingly) the end. We also discussed that, similarly, fables also offer morals or lessons to their readers. We took some time to read a few selections from Arnold Lobel’s Fables for some inspiration in writing our own cautionary tales.
To help further our creativity, some of us elected to try out our cautionary tales using a MadLibs format–the result of which gave us some amusing cautionary tales indeed. When it was time to share our efforts, we heard stories about lilac fairies, mermaids, and girls transformed into cheetahs all of which ending with very worthy lessons like being yourself and respecting others to name a few. You can check out our stories by clicking here.
Next week, at our February 13th meeting we will be trying our hands at writing spectacularly epic stories. However, as our writing topics grow a little bit more complex, we will also have time to revisit some of our past writings that we would like to elongate or revise. If you haven’t joined us before, next Wednesday would be the perfect time to start, as we will be reviewing all of our work before moving forward to new topics. As always, I hope to see you there!