Due to work, I was unable to hold Lowestoft Library Teen Writing Group for a few months, but with a change of day we are all back up and running. We now meet on the first Wednesday of each month, 5-6 pm, in the library cafe. The age limits have also been extended from 11 years old to 18 years old. This is because I received a lot of interest from younger writers, and I wanted to be able to provide a writing community for them too.
So now the group has 7 members, which is great. All girls though. It would be nice to see some boys who want to take part, but I certainly can't complain.
Another change is that I've stopped giving homework. A couple of them are taking exams now, and what with school work for the others, they're not going to have time for writing group homework too.
So we met on Wednesday 7th May, and 6 people turned up. I know they're young, and fairly shy, but I want them to have confidence in their work and their ability to share. Last time I asked them to bring along some work to read out to the group. Two girls did this, and I was so pleased with what they had written and the fact that they were brave enough to read it out.
In the session I gave everyone a copy of a story plan.
I asked everyone to fill in one box and then pass their paper on to the person sitting on their right. We carried on doing this until we had filled in all the boxes.
I ended up with this outline for a story -
A city in the shadow of an active volcano, with a corrupt government & eruption day nearing.
Shana - Oblivious to everything. She thinks the volcano won't erupt.
Emmy - Determined to get Shana to realise that the volcano is going to erupt someday.
American police officer - Ignorant to the corrupt government. Aims to help everyone he can, but isn't too smart.
Emmy has an evil twin, is taking over the world, trying to get Emmy to be evil too. Only one thing can stop her, has no idea what it is.
Hire a vigilante spider to conquer all foes and problems. He returns to the centre of the earth. Can be called upon whenever Earth is in need.
Although there wasn't much time left, we all started to write the story from our plans.
Shana sits on her balcony, staring out at the mountain in the distance. She smiles at the occasional black puff of smoke which pops out of the top. She sees the mountain as a friend, someone she can confide in. She knows that the mountain won't judge. She knows it won't leave her. Her family left her a long time ago. They left her alone, running scared, believing that the mountain was a volcano and that it would erupt soon. Shana didn't understand the panic. As soon as it started smoking, six weeks ago, people started to leave the town in their droves. But Shana didn't believe anything bad would happen. The mountain was her friend.
If everyone wanted to finish the story for homework they could, but they didn't have to.
Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 4th June.