Today, Brad Lambert, an animator, talked with the students through Skype and showed everyone his animated movie about Joseph Palmer, the man most famous for being persecuted for having a beard. The kids really loved it, filled with historic facts, comedy and excitement. Writing is not just for books, it brings movies, plays, music and even video games to life. Inspired by world bestsellers, research, the process of publishing a script, the editing, the illustrations, the voiceover and the credits, it is all part of writing. For Brad Lambert, he wanted to demonstrate historic events through illustrations and discussions, while relating to the audience through punch lines and vivid characters. Writing is a part of everything in our daily life, so it is important to continue reading and writing because it is a part of life and will truly benefit you in the future, in any kind of career.
As for the students, they are doing great progress in their assignments. After one week of lessons, examples and research, the students are almost done and it gave me a chance to ask them what they have been working on. One student wrote about a group of teenagers training to be warriors after their orphanage burned down and witnessed a monster within the flames. Another created a short story of a jailbreak and a gruesome train. Some students are creating videos to present images to represent their stories and flipbooks with programs in which they learned about this past week. Most of the students are writing science fiction, biographies, poems and nonfiction. It is amazing how the young mind is able to create such incredible ideas into stories. Of course, some students are experiencing writer’s block. That is okay. It just proves you are ready to show the latest draft and gain an audience’s opinion. I am now speaking to everyone, from the students in the Writer’s Camp to the readers of the internet, keep on writing. Take a break, draw a picture, do some research, just take moment to see what else could be added to improve your story. Continue writing, don’t stop, and if you are stuck, ask for help. Never give up, I just know these new stories are going to ROCK!!!!!!
For today’s guest speaker, Jeri Rowe, discussed writing in general. During the first few minutes of class, the students wrote about someone from their family or a pet whom they love very much. Then asking a few of the students to read their materials, Jeri asked questions based on their subject: What do they do? What are they like? Small details that describes the person or animal on paper. Details, such as names, characteristics, hobbies, events and setting, help build a strong structure within writing, especially in journalism. You would want to demonstrate to the readers what is going on, what it truly felt like to be at a specific event, meeting this person, as if the reader is being transported through time. Whenever you write, no matter what kind of format and subject you focus on, always remember to include the important details.
Here are some of Jeri’s tips you can go over:
As for the classes, the students are already working on their stories. A few are still having writer’s block but the staff of the Young Writer’s Camp are helping them make ideas and edit their work. Using computers and laptops, the students are learning to use programs such as Toondo, Voicethread, Weebly and Flipbooks. Some have already written about their pets, others based on a video games, about soccer and baseball and some were written as a autobiography. The students are working very hard and by the end of next week, their creativity will be officially published for their friends and family to see.
For today’s guest, Drew Perry, a Professor in English who has an interest in writing fiction, came to discuss writing fiction. He focused on these questions: how do you capture the audience? What should be brought to life in a world of fantasy? Should there be magic, ghosts, murder, a normal life in the suburbs or a dog? Why these people? Why this day? Throughout the discussion, the students had to write down the rest of the story for a prompt displayed on the board, add details on the characters, setting and actions. It was truly a beautiful sight as the students started to write down in their little notebooks about what the story should be. Some made it into a romantic comedy, others made it into a simple event gone wrong. They turn a simple paragraph into a story people are going to love to hear. Beginning with a simple idea and adding the rest of the details is a process writers would use to ensure the format is interesting, in order and truly bring the story to life.
Overall, it all starts with a blank piece of paper. All of us in some point would have writer’s block, a time when the emptiness of a page starts to frighten us, our hands to shake, your head fills completely empty and as you try to think hard and fast; it feels like you are about to explode because you can not find the right words. In order to overcome this dilemma, just start writing. Put in one sentence, whether it is the beginning of the prompt or represents the middle, you have something to work with. Then read it and think, what does it mean, what does it need? Ask questions to yourself and to others because these questions, along with the ideas you developed, are the building blocks of writing. That is why most people use bubble charts or come up with a list. This blank page is the draft of something wonderful. Once all the details are on the page, read it, make some notes, highlight, read it again, cross an unneeded word out, put down an arrow, write suggestions in a red pen and transfer everything you like into a new page. This time, instead of having to spend a few minutes thinking about what needs to be put down, you already have you story, nice and neat. Then you read the new draft and edit again and again. Have others read it because you are trying to capture the audience, do some research and use your imagination. Be inspired by the people around you, read your favorite books and watch a show to get your brain moving or relaxing from a hard day of work. Write in your journals (REMEMBER DAY 2), save your essays and previous works you have done over the years which may bring back a forgotten spark of ingenuity. Do the process for a long time until for you are fully satisfied. In the end, the essay, poem, magazine, movie script, blog, textbook, research document and novel is finally done and ready to be shared with the world.
How does writing work in the magical world of movies, from the songs that brings forth the mood, the clever words that the characters speak and the vivid setting of action, history and fantasy? Emily Edwards, a journalist in TV/ radio news and interested in animated films, came to UNCG to discuss the importance of writing, especially in a journal. Most of us probably have already read The Diary of Anne Frank, Flowers for Algernon or A Diary of a Wimpy Kid. they are wonderful stories and what is interesting about them is that they are written in a journal format. Even before they became world best sellers, every book, movie, play, poem, scientific discoveries, historical text, artistic masterpieces and sport plans all started with an idea and preserved with the ink as it flows across the blank page. Ever since Emily was 5 years old, she had kept a journal with her. So whenever she had an idea or a sudden spark of inspiration, she would write or sketch it down. Sometimes when you are in the zone or just trying to get everyone down in a short amount of time, your ideas may get messy, filled with scribbles, shortened phrases in codes or symbols, with doodles on the side. It does not always have to be organized and perfect; it just proves that your brain is working overtime and the journal are a way to remember your big “Aha” moments so you can organize and edit later. Most of the greatest people in the world kept journals, diaries and recordings of what they discovered and came up with. Leonardo Da Vinci kept all his greatest pans, ideas and blueprints in his journal, and some of his earlier inventions are still used today. While working on his famous formula E=mc2, the equivalence of energy, Albert Einstein wrote down his equations over and over, making notes, trying to see the numbers relate until he figured out the solution. Using his notes, he wrote pamphlets and articles to explain his revised formula. Ever heard of Dav Pilkey, his teacher used to tell him he will never get anywhere in life if he keeps drawing cartoons. A few years later, he grew up to be the author of the Captain Underpants book series which soon will be an animated film. Even dancers, sport coaches and costume designers use a journal to come up with ideas for choreography, contrast color patterns, see how their visions will contradict in a play or movie, make uniforms, how to practice a sport and game plans to win the game.
As a blogger, it is essential and easier for me to carry a notebook so I could write down the events that is occurring during the Young Writer’s Camp, so I can keep my facts straights, remember important quotes, know the names of the guest speakers and the questions already in my hand so I could ask to the students and staff about how they feel about this summer experience. Even as a young girl in elementary, I would do a morning prompt about a specific topic and to add more of my flare, I would draw a colorful picture to go with my story. As I practiced my hand in art, I had a sketchbook, so I could not only learn new drawing and paint techniques, but also draw what I felt, the images I saw throughout my life and the ideas that just sprung into my head. Since science is one of my major passions, I hope that someday I would invent or innovate something that will change the world. So whenever I come up in what I believe will be a scientific breakthrough, I write it down or draw a little sketch. Once in a while, I would look back through my notes from last week to a few years ago and I can see my former self within the pages.
Writing in journals is not only a way to preserve your ideas, but also help you practice for the future on how you process your thoughts. After practicing so much with a pen, the hand becomes faster, new ways of keeping notes are developed, even schoolwork will be a breeze. And don’t just write it down, record, take pictures, etc. Everyone has their own style in creativity and keeping their thoughts together. With the world always changing, it is important to be ready, whether the usage of a plain notebook paper to the age of tablets and smartphones.
So go out there and explore, creativity is endless and it is waiting to be discovery by a bright person like yourself.
Monday July 13, 2015
Welcome to the First Day at UNCG Young Writer’s Camp
Hello everyone, this is Melissa Moreno. The first time I joined the Young Writer’s Camp was in the 12th grade. I considered myself a good writer at the time, but after participating in the activities, meeting new friends, learning new writing techniques and engaging with the staff, I became more involved in my writing and creativity. Now I am a rising sophomore in UNCG, as well as the 2015 UNCG Young Writer’s Camp blogger.
To those who are new to the summer program, the staff of the UNCG young Writer’s Camp would like to say welcome and we are all looking forward to meeting bright new faces this year. To the former campers who enjoyed the camp experience so much that they could not wait for another year of fun and excitement, we are glad you decided to join us again and we promise this year is going to be 10 times the enjoyment, with stimulating lessons and a most memorable experience this summer.
Everyday for the next two weeks, we will begin with a guest speaker, as they discuss projects, events, careers and writing techniques to help demonstrate the students the limitless possibilities of writing, from publishing a book to establishing marketing and promotion. It is also a chance for students to ask questions and develop brainstorms for their stories in which they will present to their parents and classmate at the end of the camp session. Then everyone will go to their assigned classrooms based on grades and continue with their writing lessons. Here, the students will learn writing formats, grammar, use computer programs and websites to edit and illustrate their projects and discuss with the teachers for any advice.
Today, Theresa Lee came to elaborate on the Melon Project, a non profit organization in which food, education and clothing are provided for kids in Africa. It is a chance to show the wonders of reading and writing to those who could not afford it. One of the projects in which the camp participates in is to write a story and share the published piece with kids in Africa. Some of the texts from the Writer’s Camp were about basketball, sonic the hedgehog, an animal’s point of view or a memoir of themselves. Though some people in Africa suffer through poverty, especially the kids participating in the Melon Project, they are happy to receive the published pieces, especially those that were written by previous UNCG campers; it provides them an insight of another child in a foreign land. Every kid in the world, no matter the color of their race, or the borders between languages, countries and culture, equally deserves the opportunity to an education.
After the discussion, the students begin brainstorming ideas for their books, websites, or poems. The most significant objective of the Young Writer’s Camp is to demonstrate to the students that creativity is limitless and to teach them the importance of capturing the audience. So far, most of the students are on the blackboard, writing, typing drawing their ideas, while others are already working on their stories. The first day truly sparked their inspiration to make something of themselves, to show their side of the story to others. Of course this is only the beginning and we hope to continue working with the students, help them break out of their comfort zone and really challenge them to new opportunities and enrichment.
To the readers, I hope you enjoyed my blog so far. There is more to come, so please feel free to comment and if you did not join us this year, there is next time. I will keep you updated.