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22 October 2022

Posted by Alice Flynn and Beth McKeeman

Expanding Islands

Junior Writers - 8
This week we continued to develop our creatures, embodying them & exploring how they moved in space, what imagining what their habitat was like as we crept, crawled & flew through it - until we came across each animal’s favourite food which each animal gulped and snaffled, pecked and pawed at until it was all gone!

We shared a little about our animals in pairs, and wrote down three new things we had discovered about our animals and the environment they live in.

Next: Map-Making!
Our facilitator drew the map as we called out what shape it should take. The big map was then split up, with each young write taking a section alone, or working in pairs.

As a group we created a collection of words to draw from: nouns, adjectives, adverbs & verbs.  Based on our earlier adventures on the island & the words we shared together, we added to our map.

We layered on mysterious and treacherous places, where the name of the area gave a hint as to what might happen to you if you visited there. Beware clambering up The Horribly High Mountains or slipping into The Dirty Bog of Worms as you walk under the two suns of the island!

At night, you’ll see plenty of shooting stars, but don’t let that distract you or you could find yourself walking straight into The Pink Tree or swimming in The Lonely Lake, not far from The Mythical Magical Tropics!

There’s plenty more to learn about our curious & wondrous island…what do you think its name might be?

Young Writers - 9
After creating a room for our characters last week, this week it was time to expand our worlds.

Where you decide to set your world can have a big impact on the feel of your story, and how your story works overall. Settings can be so iconic that from a singular picture we can identify where we are, as a quick five minute quiz showed us.

However, altering these settings can be highly disruptive. When asked to change the setting of a book, our Young Writers found it very challenging. If Lucy were to step through the wardrobe and land not in a snow covered forest, but a snow covered city, it drastically affects the mood of Narnia. As for other books, the setting is so integral to the plot that to remove it changes the story completely.

With this in mind, we started crafting our own worlds - what would best match our characters?

Worldbuilding is a lot of questions and answers and more questions. So we started with questions like is the world real or fantastical? How much technology is there? What are the seasons like? Is it rural or urban? What is the infrastructure to support food? Are there rich and poor areas?

There are an endless array of questions to ask, so we split into pairs to talk about our worlds-in-progress and interrogate each other about them. For every question, try to come up with an answer, even if you later decide it doesn’t fit, because there’s always the chance you might spark something in the moment that you will keep or work on.

Having answered all these questions, we now know a lot to inform our worlds. What can also shape our worlds, is the lies we believe about them. From crooked governments to secret caves, there’s a lot of scope to drive narratives from lies which characters believe, whether or not the audience also believes them.

Finally, we created travel guides and tag lines for our worlds. We boasted the best jam, great bread, beaches not to be missed, as well as a few anti-travel guides warning unwary travellers far far away from war, zombies, and general bad-ness.

We now have half-term break to percolate on our worlds and let them evolve in the backs of our brains. Let’s see how they’ve grown in two weeks!

Reviewing the island Junior Writers created.

The Junior Writers becoming their animals as they eat.

Junior Writers map creation.

Rebecca and Rafsan's sections of the island.

Arsh and Namay's section of the island.

Ruqayya's section of the island.

Eliza's Peliparit and section of the island where they live.

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