The March workshop for the Young Writers’ Group was another inspiring session. We began with the A-Z story game, which is anything but predictable, and always good fun. It involves quick thinking and fast reflexes. You catch the ball, you create the next line or scene.

Together we spontaneously composed a piece which turned into Doctor Who fan fiction. You really can’t tell where the story will go, even if you’re the one holding the ball.

After we had warmed our brains up, Max led a ‘stream of consciousness’ writing exercise, allowing us precious time to explore ideas from the top of our heads uninterrupted.

Having explored our inner worlds, we went on a walk around the Camborne College campus. We didn’t take any writing implements with us, as the main part of the exercise would happen later. Following our walk, we returned to The Writers’ Block, and were tasked with drawing something we had found interesting on our stroll.

Looking at our surroundings in new ways is a significant part of the craft of writing. For those of us who weren’t used to drawing, this exercise brought additional challenges, but some great work emerged. We stationed our drawings around the room, and then walked around looking at each other’s work, adding short notes to others’ drawings commenting on what they made us think or feel.

From there we wrote poems which incorporated an element of repetition. Writing a poem can be easy when you have a concrete image, but incorporating repetition adds an extra layer of complexity.

The young people rose to the challenge, and produced some very evocative pieces of writing.

To begin the final part of the session, we used examples from film and television to think about the second stage of the Hero’s Journey. This is the inciting incident, which starts the story after the character has been immersed in their normal life.

For the final exercise, Max asked us to write about someone that had changed our lives. Stories of best friends, altered friendships and beloved family members ensued.

It’s not certain at this point what the next session will bring – but it’s guaranteed to be both fun and informative. We are looking forward to working with the group again in March, and hopefully welcoming some new members.

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A piece of the artwork created after our walk around the Cornwall College Camborne campus.

Blog by writer and workshop leader, Casey Bottono