We talked about how we can express our thoughts, emotions and opinions in writing. How writing heals and how by observation we can shatter self-imposed limits or restrictions of who we think we are.
By using the ides of Michael Arndt, screenwriter (Oscar winner for Little Miss Sunshine,) Toy Story 3
Step 1: Show Your Hero Doing What They Love Most.
The kids picked, Kevin, 16, a star student and hockey player, playing an important game before a scout from Boston College.
Step 2: Add a Flaw
While Kevin was a star athlete and A student, he was not a good listener.
Step 3: Add a Storm
He skates toward the goals, he winds up, he shoots, he scores, and they win the game. Jubilation, he feels the victory and believes he has secured his spot at BC. BUT the scout pulls him aside, tells him he should have passed the puck, he needed to be a team player, he wasn't looking for a showman. Kevin fells his world crumble and fall.
Step 4: Add Insult to Injury
He returns home and gets into a fight with his loving parents. He lashes out. His mother revels his biological mother is alive and hands him her papers. Step 5: Make Your Character Pick the Unhealthy Choice
Kevin takes off in a car in search of a love he believes is missing in his life.
The kids were asked put their own ending to the story.
Laurel Redington, radio host of 88.7 MVY Radio, talked to the kids about writing for communication and presenting yourself and point of view. She shook each hand, asked for solid eye contact. They each stood and presented their story. They had 30 seconds.
The result gave me goosebumps. Some wanted Kevin's problems resolved quickly, placing him firmly back home with his parents and back on the ice, others told of his gritty, dark, discovery when he found his biological mother and how he then became her savior. All their endings were emotionally strung, real to life, captivating. They walked a mile in Kevin's shoes. IN 30 seconds.
They understood that the brainstorming model is also true for all of us. We set goals, hold passions, they don't always work out, we strive to overcome our challenges, we learn who we are along the way. It doesn't always have a happy ending, but surely worth the observation. The story is in the journey.
Thanks to the High School, Kate Hennigan and Ryan Kent for sharing these creative writing 9th graders. Thanks Laurel Redington.