Achievements - Day Eleven Online

Green for good mark ups.

Success! Short stories and flash fiction has been edited and submitted for grading. That means it's time for me to focus on grading them and for students to explore their next project. We don't stop for a minute all term.

The Final Story Proposal was introduced last week, but today students were able to concentrate more clearly on ideas for research. This is all I wanted them to do today; think out loud. There was time for this in randomly assigned groups. Then again in teams with similar interests.

So what are my students interested in researching to help improve their own writing? 

  • POV: switching it to look at different angles
  • character: how they change and the set types
  • genre: formats to follow
  • language: personification, subtext in dialogue
  • senses: which ones add most interest and how to show, not just tell

It makes me so proud to hear their interests and see what matters to them at this point in their writing. Each of them is embracing the challenge of looking into topics they've never considered before or ones that they have realised they are weaker in applying.

This is not something I actually do myself, though. When I start a story, I have an image or an interaction in mind. Next, the ending appears and I eventually work my way to connect the two. At some point in my wandering, I get what the story is trying to say. While re-drafting, the weaknesses become clear.

The important thing about re-drafting is time. Time to read, write other things, work for income and interact with the world. While I do this, the things I couldn't get right work themselves to the front of my mind, like a splinter you couldn't get out with tweezers. 

These students don't have the luxury of time. My job is to accelerate the process and offer them the skills to do this on their own once the class is over. While this is happening, we also have to cover academic writing; how to research in a logical way and present it professionally.

All of this in a foreign language. It's new and it's pedantic. But it's the first time that the students have full control. Even structure is up to them at this point, as they get used to understanding and presenting their literary thoughts. Hopefully it's interesting to them, maybe even a little fun, and they can be pleased with how much they've already accomplished in completing two creative pieces.