Friday, October 26, 2012

My first speaking gig...pretty cool stuff!

The 7th grade writing teacher across the hall form me asked me to come in and speak to his students about writing--specifically writing ghost stories. I've taught writing, but this is the first time I've been invited into another teacher's class to talk to the students about writing and what I do as a writer. I'm excited and nervous.

What am I going to say?

I know they're writing ghost stories, and the teacher said many of the students believe only blood and guts is scary stuff. Hhmmm...

I think I need to talk about the elements you need to include to create a good scary story.

  • Suspense -- You want your story to create a feeling of excitement, anxiety or even fear.
  • Plot Twist -- Don't take the story in the direction everyone expects it to go.
  • Conflict -- You have to have a central problem that your characters have to solve.
  • Setting -- Take a normal, ordinary setting  and have something unexpected happen.
  • Surprise ending -- Give your readers an ending they didn't expect.
There are a lot more things I could talk about, but I've only got a limited amount of time. Some of the 7th graders came up to me and asked if I was going to read them one of my stories. Maybe I could do that and have the students tell me what works and what doesn't.