This is the third post in a series on writing fanfiction for kids. Earlier posts are: On Teaching a Fanfiction Workshop for Kids, Writers in the Schools – A Second Time Round, and Day One: Introducing Fanfiction.
Day Two: The Prewrite
On day two, some of the kids were ready and raring to write, but we had some preparations to do first. Our school uses a writer’s workshop model that includes a prewrite, rough draft, and final draft, so everyone was familiar with the concept of prewrite. We worked on getting rough ideas for character and plot.
5 to 10 minutes: Talking about being a writer
I talked more about what it was like to grow up reading and writing, and how I had written fanfiction as a child before the word fanfiction was even invented. I discussed writer’s block a little bit more. Then I touched on the idea of using established characters but changing their names, to make the story more their own.
5 to 10 minutes: Group Discussion
The kids broke up into small groups and discussed their characters. Everybody picked a character they would like to use and decided whether they would like to use the character’s name as is or change it.
20 minutes: All About My Character
I asked the kids to think up as many details about their character as they could and write them down. I also suggested that if they didn’t know the answer to a question that they make it up. I explained that they might not use all those details, but the details would help them imagine the characters better. Next time I would be a little firmer on this and require the kids to make up three details.
Once they had gotten a start on that, they broke up into small groups and talked about their characters.
20 minutes: Where’s the Story
I discussed common types of plots. Then I asked each of them to write down three types as story ideas. They didn’t have to use one of them, but they could.
As the kids were working, the teacher and I went around the classroom talking to kids who were feeling stuck or weren’t sure their ideas would make good stories.
By the end of day two, most of the kids knew who they were going to write about and what kind of story they were going to tell.