World book day this year landed on a snowy Thursday. Many schools were closed but not Coombe Boy’s school in New Malden where I had the pleasure of teaching two creative writing workshops to year seven and eight pupils.
We talked about how to begin a story and how to chose between first and third person. We discussed some of the most important elements of fiction writing; suspense, setting and how to create character. We studied Roald Dahl’s vivid description of James’ spiteful aunts in James and the Giant Peach. We looked at the opening of David Almond’s brilliant and mysterious book Skellig and then at the way Bram Stoker describes Jonathan Harker’s initial encounter with Count Dracula in his truly terrifying novel.
Then we got writing!
I was impressed with the quality of the work produced and the vivid imaginations of the students at Coombe school. We had stories about shepherds, spaceships, football managers and even talking strawberries. There were some very accomplished writers in both groups and my advice to all those who enjoyed the workshops is to keep writing!