Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Guest Teaching a H.S. Creative Writing Class! #amwriting #HONY

Tomorrow is a big day!  Before Thanksgiving, I received an email from an ELA teacher at the local high school, asking if I'd like to come in as a guest speaker in his Creative Writing Class.  Of course I said yes--what an opportunity to share my passion for writing!  I've been teaching a course on Fiction Writing for the local community college for a while now, and my adult participants have all seemed to really enjoy it--but I have little experience creating a lesson plan for a single visit to a class of high school students.

The teacher and I exchanged emails until we worked out a topic for discussion: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict, which is something I spend quite a bit of time on in my own class.  But with the time constraints, we needed to come up with some short examples to analyze after the lecture.  We tossed around a few ideas, and then I hit on something I hope will be engaging, interesting, and effective: two Greek myths full of drama, action, and tragedy.  Once I review the concepts of GMC, we will work as a group to build the GMC charts for several of the characters in each myth.

Then the teacher came up with a great idea for an accompanying exercise for the students after the discussion.  They're going to break into groups and visit the amazing Humans of New York site (HONY).  Many of the stories that accompany the photos reveal the subject's struggle--and often, in the longer stories, it is possible to discern the very real elements of GMC that people face every day.  Students will pick one of the photos and tell us about that person in terms of their goal (what they hope for or dream of), their motivation (why they want this), and the conflict (what they will have to overcome to achieve their dream).  This should be a powerful discussion.

I truly hope the class finds the lesson useful and educational.  And in an odd twist, I discovered that the Beta reader I worked with for DIVINE FALL, my Young Adult Paranormal Romance, is in the class!  Since the protagonist in the book is a 16-year-old girl, and I am not, I contacted the school's volunteer office a few years ago to see if anyone was interested in taking on the project.  So I will get to thank her personally once again, and perhaps motivate some other aspiring writers to become Beta readers in order to learn more about the process.

It is late and the class is early, so I need to get to bed.  Fingers crossed for a great class tomorrow.

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