So where to start. I want the process to be fun. I want to find some cool ways to create a story. Along the way I had an interesting insight into my own reading choices. Most of my free lance writing has been nonfiction. Yet my free choice reading is heavy on the fiction side. An interesting conundrum. So back to the question at hand, "How do you write great fiction?"
For the last month I have been asking myself what ideas would make a fun and exciting writing prompt. I wanted a non-threatening activity that produced quality writing. I know, you're asking, how does she spell "clueless"?
I was in Barnes and Noble and found the book the "The Chronicles of Harris Burdick". (I admit I may have been living under a rock and missed it when it first came out.) There are 14 well known authors who each wrote a story about one of the pictures from the book "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick". What a great connection - what a fabulous mentor text! I think my intermediate students who like stories a little on the dark side will be thrilled with this book.
So then I started googling Harris Burdick. I found treasure. Lots of people have been inspired by Chris Van Allsburg's illustrations and writing. I found video's on YouTube. I found music. And I found animated pictures on the publisher's website. I did an internet search and found some great lesson ideas.
- Who is Harris Burdick (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing) http://www.hmhbooks.com/features/harrisburdick/
- Teacher's Guide to Mysteries of Harris Burdick http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/features/thepolarexpress/tg/mysteriesofharris_tg.pdf
- ReadWriteThink http://18.104.22.168/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/mysteries-harris-burdick-using-30606.html?tab=3
- Teacher Feature: Seasonal Writing http://literatureforlunch.com/?p=213
- Music http://www.millerandtysen.com/tuck-everlasting/the-mysteries-of-harris-burdick/
- Childhood Nightmares: Harris Burdick (YouTube) http://youtu.be/mrCTSNPVhXI
- Creative Writing http://www.frontiernet.net/~mblow/harris_burdick.htm
I look over the collection, and ponder how I will put these puzzle pieces together. I am reminded of the line from the Once Upon a Time Storytelling Cards (Atlas Games) "Not all fairy tales have a happy ending".