If spring fever has got you down, consider joining the Creative Writing Workshop for Tweens & Teens at the San Carlos Library. This afternoon kicked off the first session of this four-week workshop. Held from 4:00 – 5:00 pm in one of the study rooms, it was a full house with every seat taken and an extra brought in.
These like-minded writers were a combination of 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, led by library aide, Chelsey Roos (pronounced like the flower, rose). An icebreaker game, the creation of a bona-fide, created-on-the-spot character, and some serious writing time made it a jam-packed hour. For those who felt comfortable sharing their stories, there was a chance to summarize what they had written. From cats to fairies to bullied girls to brave heroines, the stories that were created during the 10-minute session were spectacular in their creativity.
Roos has taught creative writing workshops and her genuine interest in her students and in her topic will dazzle you. Think you’re not creative? Think you can’t write a story? I bet you anything that Roos will change your mind. For example, she got today’s writers talking with a request to build a character and a few simple questions.
“How do we make characters real? How do we do it together?”
- Start with gender. Is it a boy or a girl?
- The character needs a name. What is it?
- The character must be a certain age. How old?
- What does this person look like?
- What is this person’s family like?
- Where does this person live?
- What does this person like?
Now we know what the character looks like. We know the character’s background. What story do we – as writers – put that character in?
When it came time for the 10 minutes of writing, you would have thought they were horses let out of the gates. All the hands in the room raced to get words down on their yellow lined paper. Pencils scratched against the hard wood of the table. And when Chelsey called out that time was up, there were some distinctive groans. As writers, we know – there is never enough time!
Try the exercise of building a character using the questions above with anyone you know.
Do it at home! Do it over supper! Do it on the ride to school!
If you’d like to join the next workshop (I hope you are nodding your head and saying “yes!” – even if it’s just in your mind), come to the San Carlos Library from 4:00-5:00 pm next Thursday, March 7th.
Thursdays, February 28th – March 21st
4:00 – 5:00 pm
Study Room C
San Carlos Library
610 Elm St.