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24 June 2023

Posted by Claire Hillier

Making pillows in a house full of feathers

Welcome Writers! Dom and Claire were running the session today (Lydia is at Glastonbury Festival)

This week the group began with a check in - it’s the end of the school term and leavers proms are

coming up. This also marks the end of an era for our students, graduating from secondary school

and moving forward to the next chapter in education. Well Done!

Other activities included a 10k walk and preparing for school leavers parties.

We opened the writing session with a free write exercise: Countdown Style

We each randomly selected 3 letters, a mix of consonants and vowels.

The challenge was to write an acrostic sentence/piece with these letters: A.L.N.D.I.U.Y.H.I.D.E.L

This restriction technique produced some interesting results.


Adventurous Lisa normally discusses Italien umbrellas. Yvonne hopes Italy delights energetic Lisa.

We then read a scene ‘Protest’ from the play CHAOS - a character has covered themself in flowers

and chained themself to railings.

This led to a discussion about setting, where are these railings?

● Parliament?

● A public park/gardens?

● Industrial space/docks/no green space?

The next activity was to generate a character by answering the following 5 questions;


1. Name: Adrien

2. Age: 19

3. Job: supermarket worker

4. Long term desire: wants to be a Judge

5. Desire for today: wants to ask a guy he saw yesterday for a coffee.


1. Name: Alice

2. Age: 15

3. Job: Imaginary friend

4. Long term desire: make a difference

5. Desire for today: make her real life friend do their homework


1. Name: Chloe

2. Age: 23

3. Job: Asda shelf stocker

4. Big desire: To make a difference to the natural world

5. Desire for today: Have an iced tea

Then we swapped characters, and thought about a location for the character we had been allocated,

and spent a minute sketching out a stage.

● Libby: supermarket - movable shelves

● Amelia: Bedroom + runway (thrust staging for imaginary space)

● Katie: Coffee Shop with adjustable lighting

Next we spent 7 mins writing a monologue for our characters. Remembering the long term life goals

and the short term day goals, considering if this place is helping them or getting in the way of them

achieving their goals.


Amelia: AI - “look at me. You can't, can you. I’m not real”

Katie: Cafe - short term vs long term goals. (immediate gratification blocking delayed gratification)

The next step was to add in 5 x stage directions, to think about how our characters interact with the


Libby: stocking shelves with peas, opens box, looking through gap in aisle shelf, walks around


Dom: Grandma making pillows, picks up kids, lets dog out, big plastic bags, house full of feathers.

Amelia: laptop opening & closing.

Katie: freezing/unfreezing activity.

We went back to the play: CHAOS, and read the scene: DEPRESSION (one character has locked

themself in their room, and is not really responding, the other is trying to coax them out.)

This then led on to a discussion about stage direction, and the question ‘who owns the space?’

*extra lesson of the day. Square brackets used in a script = implied but not said [scary].

Going back to our monologue pieces, another character enters the space.

One wants to leave. One wants to stay. We spent 15 mins writing about this situation.

Storyline progression:

Amelia: 20 years later. Another character, repetition. Conflict = AI got out of digital trapped space.

Character has a new girlfriend. Main character wants to leave. AI wants to stay.

Katie: New relationship. Broke up. Irreconcilable differences.

Dom: Mum comes home. Gran wants to have a chat. Tension. Mum wants to leave.

Claire: DJ wants to stay. Events manager wants to leave. Agrees to gig, but has no intention of

booking the DJ - just says yes to appease him and get away.

Libby: Main character wanted to leave. Other guy had a boyfriend. Awkward, miscommunication,

This brought us to the end of another excellent session.

Keep writing. More exercises next week.


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