Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Writer's Week: School Days

This week, I was fortunate to visit another school. Thank you very much to Mrs. Woodard and her 2nd grade class! I really enjoyed myself. The kids were great, and asked a lot of fantastic questions.

This was the youngest class that I've visited so far. I was a little worried about how to approach them. Their teacher had not started reading the book to them yet. She's waiting until June to start it, since they're just a hair young for it. I decided that I'd just talk to them in general about writing.

So that's what I did. I gave them a little information about The Deliverers and then asked if any of them liked to write. About 80% of the class raised their hands. So I asked them to tell me what types of things they liked to write. From there, it was off into how they get ideas for their stories and what kinds of characters they wrote about.

I explained how I wrote the book and how I got my ideas and where my characters came from. They were asking questions all the time, and were really engaged. Then, I pulled out a little stone owl. I passed it around to the class, and told them that when I went to China, I found "Stig" sitting on a shelf. I decided to bring him home, and he sat nearby as I wrote the rest of The Deliverers. 

Then, they asked me to read some of the book. At that point, we were pressed for time, so I read the first five or six pages, which touched off another round of questions. All in all, a great session. I've got another school visit scheduled for next week, and I'll fill you in on how that goes.

As for my writing...The new book hasn't progressed, word-wise, since last week. However, I have reread the 112 pages of the manuscript that I've written so far, and have identified a few inconsistencies. I'm also trying to figure out what, if anything, about the plot has to be reworked. I don't know that anything does right now, but that just may be due to a lack of objectivity on my part--it's hard to say.

I was looking to instill a greater sense of urgency into the book. Right now there's no deadline they have to meet. I am running dual story lines, and they cut over every couple of chapters or so, so that keeps the plot moving along, in my opinion. I think that I'll be able to start moving the story forward again in the coming week. I'll check in with an update again next week!


  1. Congrats on another successful school visit. It sounds like it went very well. I thin it is awesome that they had so many questions for you and that you were able to read the start of the book. Great to inspire young readers and writers. :)

    1. Thanks. It's always so much fun to visit schools. I've got two or three more this month. Some of the kids are doing some ambitious things, writingwise.