The New Chic

If I may, I’d like to skip some of my usual flavor to showcase some other people.

I know. Weird for you? Weird for me too.

These particular humans were of a smaller size than what I’m used to. I had the great honor and privilege of being asked by Maungaraki School to speak to a room of their junior writers.

When I was a kid, I was one of the lippy ones. I spent too much time being kicked out of math class for taking the wrong line of inquiry, if you get me. I was curious, but in a narrow lane. I met these people yesterday, full to the brim with questions about everything. Some of the ideas for stories they had? They’ll blow your mind. Kids who are spies. A new take on epic fantasy that would make Tolkein blush. Or, stories about creatures that are unique – the Tui without a bobble, or the Robin without a red crest. The originality humbled me. Here I am, apparently some kind of writer, and I’m in a room of people with 10% of my milage on the clock, as eager to learn as they are bursting to put their imaginations to the page. And all of them had more ideas than I could write in my lifetime.

They weren’t limited to writing books, either. Screenplays? Yep, they’re already thinking about that.

We had some good Q&A time, and I got to learn a lot about ’em. The kinds of things they like to read, and the kinds of stories they want to write. Did you know they’re helping to pen the school’s own production? This isn’t a thing where teachers/staff are doing the work. Nope. The students are writing their own show.

We spent some time going over a miniaturized version of Dan Well’s 7 Point System. I was a little concerned it might be too complicated, or I wouldn’t be able to make the content digestible for children. Nah: these humans are smart. They’re adaptive. They got the concepts and the ideas faster than I did first time around. They were, by the end of an hour, already putting ideas to paper, teasing and stressing their own stories into the framework.

They didn’t ask me if I could come back: I asked them if I could come back.

They said yes.

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