Hello, hello, come in, welcome to the school!
Well… maybe school seems the wrong word. I don’t imagine this happens in a building. I see us assembling outside an old shack, at the edge of the forest. There’s an informal atmosphere. Soon children will be standing up, to astonish the group, with tales of What Will Happen When Crocodiles Talk, and The True Story Of How My Brother Nearly Died.
And you’ve astonished me this week, because people have been writing in from round the United Kingdom, including one – hello Steven! – who is spending his summer, staying in the Orkney Isles, with his ancient great uncle, and about four thousand sheep. Several of you have been swapping recommendations. (Several teenagers are craving more John Green. How about a couple of the books John Green recommends himself – eg We Were Liars and Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children? The pic is from that.)
Best of all, several of you have sent in ideas that have occurred to you last week, and here are a few good ones…
IDEA: I come down to breakfast to find my mum is a hedgehog.
IDEA: A lonely boy makes friends with a ghost and solves the mystery of what kills him.
IDEA: A girl buys a special perfume which makes her irresistibly popular to everyone she meets.
For some reason, most writers were between the ages of 9 and 14. (You can be any age, at the Writing School, even adults. At this point, I’m setting you the same exercises I’d be setting if I was running a team of grown-up writers, working on a TV show). But the idea that tickled me the most was from Sam, who was my youngest writer this week (he’s five)….
IDEA: There is a frog who has one very very strong leg and it is so strong he can kick baddies into outer space.
I really laughed at that one, which set my imagination working. (Does the frog have another leg, which is actually quite weak? How often does he kick baddies into outer space? Does he accidentally kick someone who he actually likes and get forced to rescue him?) These are the things I’m thinking about. And these are the questions you will develop…
I would like you, please, to take one (or more) of your IDEAS, and try writing the story of what happens. Not in detail: I’m after what we’d call a PREMISE. That’s where you write between 6 and 15 lines. If you’re not sure what might happen, just try telling yourself the story.
Good luck! Have fun!