During last month’s in-person workshop at Kresen Kernow, we discovered some common ground between our young writers, beyond their love of the art form. Several participants expressed an interest in writing fantasy. As we aim to be guided by what students want to write, we sought to develop a fantasy workshop with a twist.
After a conversation about the elements of fantasy we love, we introduced the Hero’s Journey. This is the thread that runs through all great stories, including fantasy fiction and fairy tales.
We invited our participants to choose from a list of historic events to provide the backdrop to their stories. These ranged from the Battle of Hastings to the Great Fire of London and the Great Exhibition.
Having chosen the backdrop, the writers then had to incorporate an element from one of nine classic fairy tales into the world of their stories. Taking all of these elements into account, they could then decide on their protagonist and what their motivation would be. We also invited them to incorporate a magical object into the story, ranging from a mirror to a stone.
To this work in progress, they then added an interruption in the form of a new setting. The only requirement was that this had to move the story forward in some sense.
We then introduced an excerpt from Tennyson’s poem ‘The Princess’, and invited our participants to choose a line which they would then incorporate into a short opening paragraph or prologue.
In closing, we invited the writers to develop a blurb for their stories, which they then pitched to us, in our imagined role as publishers.
The workshop was very well received, despite our initial perception that it would be challenging. One participant said that ‘All the things that made it hard made it better.’
We are already looking forward to next month’s online workshop, where we will explore the theme of mystery.
Booking information can be found here