Down the Rabbit Hole

Trees in WaterBeing imaginative is key in the creative writing process. Imagine how bland Oz would be, had Mr. Baum lacked vision. How different would Middle Earth seem, had Tolkien not developed such a vast world in which to place his characters. Like Alice, we must go “down the rabbit hole”.

The first step in developing our creative writing project was not to choose our characters. It was to pick the landscape in which our characters would dwell. Within the right setting, a character lives and breathes; they come to life and jump off the page. Green Hills

Do you want a character that dwells amidst the ocean? Perhaps they are huddled in the center of the earth, floating among the clouds, or utterly alone in a frozen wilderness.

What dangers will they be forced to overcome? What hazards await them? What lessons are to be learned? These are all important to the setting of your character.

Dictionary of Imaginary PlacesShould you lack vision, The Dictionary of Imaginary Places is the perfect book to help you out. This glossary is filled from cover to cover with every imaginary place ever listed in the history of literature (well, practically)! The problem will be narrowing down your choices.

Each person who is participating, should start with picking a landscape in which to set their character. From there, they are encouraged to add details that pertain to their environment. This will help you to remain consistent throughout the year and help you come up with writing prompts, should you ever get stuck. Boat on Lake

As I mentioned yesterday, everyone here is joining in on the project. My husband and I have a much more detailed view from which to work. Our oldest daughter is eleven, so she too was encouraged to be much more thorough in creating her character’s world. Our other daughters are a little too young to go into much detail; however, we did encourage them to write some. Our son isn’t doing much at all (as he is only five) but he did inform us that he is from Planet Angry Birds!

Road in GreenNo matter where you choose to place your character, remember to be creative. There are no rules to the game, you are free to have fun. Chicago is not just Chicago, but a breathing city where the buildings have come to life and are using people as food. The center of the earth has become the melting pot for all sources of chocolate and your character will mine its depth in search of liquid “gold”.

Experiment, innovate, and dream. There is no place your imagination can’t take you. The bigger you dream, the more complex the backdrop; the easier it will become to develop your character.

If you could pick a world in which to abide; which world would you choose? Would you pick danger, magic, or do you prefer peace and comfort?



A Writing Adventure

Cargo Bay LetterComing up with fun, creative writing exercises can sometimes be a chore. Sure we can come up with a myriad of ideas, but our children usually hate them or grow bored quickly. If you are looking for an exciting way to encourage creative writing, might I make a suggestion?

The ideas over at Dante’s Wardrobe will fulfill much of what you would want in a creative writing course! It is much more than just writing exercises; it is a writing adventure. With the thoughtful and detailed tips Ms. Ledeaux provides, you too can join in the fun.

Using the ideas listed at Dante’s Wardrobe, your family can create their own “characters” and then interact with others via post. There are various activities that can help you get the most out of your experience; creating your own mailboxes and your own letterhead are just a few. Stack of Letter

Creative writing is an important part of learning. Suzanne Alicie over at eHow Mom, explains the importance of creative writing. For example, it encourages imagination, teaches discipline and persuasiveness, and aids grammar skills.

LetterAll week long I plan to unfold our family’s personal journey, influenced by Dante’s Wardrobe. I will share how we created our characters, mailboxes, and more. Follow along and then join in the fun!

Do you have a special way to encourage creative writing? What does your family write about?

A Reason for Writing

(Wow, two posts in one day! I had thought to originally just post this review today, but felt the Lord compelling me to write Grace Abused as well. So, two it is.)

Besides reading, I also mentioned that writing is another of our core areas of study. I believe our children should know how to write properly on any given topic.

In order to set out on the right foot, I wanted to start off with a solid penmanship lesson; one that would not only teach them to write their letters, but help make their writing legible. A Reason for Handwriting did the job wonderfully. Each week, the children are given specific words from a Bible verse that they are to practice writing. At the end of the week, they write out the complete verse on a separate sheet of paper. The bonus was that you can also purchase Border Sheets to write your verses on. The Border Sheets are coloring pages with lines in the center. This way the children can write their verse and then color the corresponding image.

Once good penmanship was achieved, the children were also encouraged to practice good typing skills. Using FREE Typing Game, our children were able to practice their typing skills and learn to increase their speed. This will help them in higher levels of learning when they are writing papers.

Once the children started into elementary levels, it seemed appropriate to start them off on a formal Grammar and Composition curriculum. Abeka was the answer for us. Their curriculum is thorough, challenging, and well laid out.

On top of continued practice in penmanship, typing, and their usual grammar and composition lessons, we also like to make sure they are getting good practice in creative writing. To do this, a weekly creative writing assignment is given. Common everyday topics are all tossed in a bowl, one is picked every Monday, and on Friday the assignment is due. Through this exercise our children have learned to think outside the box and reach the audience through their paper. At times, my husband and I have gotten in on the fun and written a paper ourselves.

Good writing skills should never be overlooked. You never know where the Lord is going to use you. When you look at life through that perspective, you realize… there is a reason for writing.c