My teens spend three of their four years learning to write non-fiction: essays, research papers, literary analysis, book reviews, blog posts, business letters, letters of recommendation, and more essays. But, that leaves out a whole form of writing that is creative in nature: telling a story.
There is something enchanting about listening to a story. It takes you away to another time, another place. How glorious it is to write you own story and share it with others. What fun!
I took this bold step of devoting a year to writing a novel with my oldest daughter. She loved to write and was excited. She didn’t even notice that I was nervous. We used Learn to Write the Novel Way by Carole Thaxton from Konos. It was amazing! For a solid year, this curriculum took us step-by-step through the process of novel writing. We learn to about grammar, editing, dialogue, structuring a story, and moving a plot along. We were thrilled at the end to sit down and listen to our newest author.
When Jenny Rose was in middle school I was given One Year Novel Adventure from Clearwater Press to review. What a blessing! This came with lessons on Dvd, as well as a teacher’s guide, student journal, and a sample adventure novel, The Prisoner of Zenda. This program focused on adventure which Rosie loved. The lessons were helpful, clear, and easy to apply to the novel that began to come together. I figured that we would count that year as our Fiction Writing Year in high school. But, then Rose and I came up with a plan.
“Let’s write a murder mystery!”
We both loved to read them so why not write them. When I couldn’t find a curriculum, I put one together. We read classic who-dun-its and wrote a murder mystery step-by-step, creating characters, throwing in clues and red herrings, misdirecting our readers, and adding that twist at the end. We had a blast!
Looking back, writing a novel in high school was a great choice. I’m glad we did it!
What about you? Why not consider devoting a year to writing fiction.
“Hold, on,” you say. “My son or daughter isn’t creative.”
Whoa! Back that truck up. All of us are made in the image of God. He is the Ultimate Creator and each of us is creative in some way.
We make the mistake of thinking that some of us are storytellers and others are just, well, um…well, not so much. For many of us, we don’t realize we have a gift in an area until we are introduced to it.
The great thing about all three curricula we used was that it took us step-by-step. It wasn’t just a matter of putting a blank piece of paper in front of them and saying, “Hey sweetheart, please write a novel.”
You can purchase Who-Dun-It on Amazon. It is a one-credit high school course, but advanced middle schoolers love it too. The E-book is available at PowerlineProd or Currclick.
Let me know if you do creative writing or novel writing in high school. I would love to hear your story. Please comment below.
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)