This post was originally published on my old blog on 5/16/14.
Every year, my school holds an amazing festival field trip for all students interested in the arts, including creative writing, visual art, theater, instrumental music, vocal music, dance and video. Both last year and this year, I have attended the field trip and I think it is a wonderful experience. At the festival, I have had the opportunity to attend workshops, have my work critiqued by professionals, watch other students’ performances, see other students’ work and talk with other teen artists. I always learn so much and have so much fun. In this post, I’ll describe my writing experience and in the next post, I’ll describe my visual art and music experience.
What I Learned at a Writing Workshop
This year I was able to attend three workshops. My first workshop was a writing one about the use of imagery and how to effectively express the thoughts in your head and transfer them from thought to page. The instructor was really funny and enthusiastic and since the class was small, she could interact with us on a personal basis-names and all. We even had the opportunity to write a story using a prompt that she gave us, read it out loud, and have our writing critiqued. All of this made the class that much better and helped me learn a lot. Here are just some of the things that I learned.
- It’s okay to write back story in a piece in order to get to know the characters and their story. However, once you’re done writing the back story, get rid of it. Another option is to revise the back story so that it is an essential part to heightening the conflict in the story.
- Before you write, sit down and imagine that you are in the same situation as the character you are about to write about. Speak a monologue out loud in the voice of your character, describing his/her/it’s thoughts about the situation. I say “it’s” because the instructor demonstrated several examples of this for us and one of the examples was from the point of view of a chair. When she demonstrated this for us, she was very dramatic and I could see that she was really getting into it. I hope that I will be able to do this, because it seems like it could really help me with my imagery.
- Write without fear and don’t worry about what others think of your writing. Instead, just write from the heart, because that’s what makes the best writing. Be like an actor, who will cry all out when the director tells him to, because that’s what makes a good movie.
- When you are writing, don’t completely delete, cross out, or erase words that you don’t want to keep. Instead, just put one line through them. As you are rereading your piece, a crossed out word may spark your imagination and give you a new idea.