monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

2 minutes reading time (369 words)

Stories Worth Hiding

IMG_555.jpgHello, hello! Today I had fun with more teenagers -- I did two writing workshops at St. Thomas HighSchool in Pointe-Claire. First, I worked with Miss Murphy's Grade Nine class, and at lunchtime, I did another workshop for students who wanted to learn more about the world of writing for kids.

During the writing portion of the workshop, I again asked students to write about some mistake they'd made in their pasts. (I invented this exercise yesterday at Lake of Two Mountains High School and I was eager to test it out again.) I explained to students that they would not have to share their work  -- that the goal of this exercise was simply to write freely and see what ideas came up for them. While they were working, I warned them I'd walk around the library (where the workshops were held), but that they could hide their work if they didn't want me to read it. Several students took advantage of this option -- and in today's pic, you can see the hands of a young man named Zander hiding what he came up with. Personally, I was thrilled to see students hiding their work: it means they were up to something interesting, and worth hiding! Those are always the best stories, though eventually, when we become published writers, we'll have to let the whole world see our work!

With the lunch bunch, I talked a little about letting our characters' characters determine the plot of our stories. We talked about "foils" -- characters who have opposite traits, thereby reflecting one another. It turned out there were two such characters sitting around the table: Vanessa, who's in a band and could be described as kind of tough; and Sabeta who told us she has never said a swear word in her life. I suggested that interesting things might ensue if a writer put two characters like Vanessa and Sabeta together, say in an elevator that stopped working.

So thanks to librarian Carolyn Pye for inviting me to St. Thomas High School and to the kids for being so receptive, and a special thanks to those brave souls who turned up on their lunch hour to work on their writing!

Stories that Just Won't Go Away
Return Visit to Lake of Two Mountains High School
 

Comments

Guest - Katie on Thursday, 17 December 2009 17:22

I'd like to thank you again for coming in today! I learned a lot, and my notebook is full of short and important tips for writing. This afternoon, I was eager to sit down at my computer to check out your website. After this, I'm going to my room to plan out my next several months on the writing frontier!

Please keep eavesdropping! Apparently it's good for you!
Katie from St. Thomas =D

I'd like to thank you again for coming in today! I learned a lot, and my notebook is full of short and important tips for writing. This afternoon, I was eager to sit down at my computer to check out your website. After this, I'm going to my room to plan out my next several months on the writing frontier! Please keep eavesdropping! Apparently it's good for you! Katie from St. Thomas =D
Guest - Chistopher Ciafro on Thursday, 17 December 2009 20:07

This the first part of a short story i'm working on. What do you think?

Chapter one
"One final question. Do you have any job experience sir?"
"No sir."
"All right, I'll give you a call, John."
" Thank You Mr. Steperots."

"My first job interview since the incident. How do you think it went Polly?"
My bird tucked his head under his wing.
" I know, but I haven't had a job interview in 3 years. I'm going to be a bit rusty."
" Polly want cracker!"
" Listen, I know you are hungry. But if I can stand being hungry so can you."
I sat down on the floor in the alley behind the pet store. I dug around in my pocket. I managed to find a small bag of crackers. I split it between me in Polly. I always feed Polly first. I've always considered Polly as an equal, rather than a pet. He is, the only one I have left. I swear, he is my guardian angel, as I am his. I looked at the clock on a billboard by the highway. I noticed it was getting late. Out of my backpack, I took out a blanket and pillow. This would be my resting place for tonight.

Any contructive critism?

This the first part of a short story i'm working on. What do you think? Chapter one "One final question. Do you have any job experience sir?" "No sir." "All right, I'll give you a call, John." " Thank You Mr. Steperots." "My first job interview since the incident. How do you think it went Polly?" My bird tucked his head under his wing. " I know, but I haven't had a job interview in 3 years. I'm going to be a bit rusty." " Polly want cracker!" " Listen, I know you are hungry. But if I can stand being hungry so can you." I sat down on the floor in the alley behind the pet store. I dug around in my pocket. I managed to find a small bag of crackers. I split it between me in Polly. I always feed Polly first. I've always considered Polly as an equal, rather than a pet. He is, the only one I have left. I swear, he is my guardian angel, as I am his. I looked at the clock on a billboard by the highway. I noticed it was getting late. Out of my backpack, I took out a blanket and pillow. This would be my resting place for tonight. Any contructive critism?
Guest - Thea on Friday, 18 December 2009 19:13

Thank-you so much for coming to St-Thomas yesterday and teaching the group and I how to become successful authors.
I am starting to write my grand-fathers experience in World War Two. I'll e-mail you the beggining when I can.
Hope to see you again.
P.S Tommorow I am probably going to buy your book "What World Is Left" it seems interesting.
Thanks again

Thank-you so much for coming to St-Thomas yesterday and teaching the group and I how to become successful authors. I am starting to write my grand-fathers experience in World War Two. I'll e-mail you the beggining when I can. Hope to see you again. P.S Tommorow I am probably going to buy your book "What World Is Left" it seems interesting. Thanks again
Guest - Thea on Saturday, 19 December 2009 12:00

Yes I still have my grandpa I interviewed him last night.
Thanks for your help,
Thea

Yes I still have my grandpa I interviewed him last night. Thanks for your help, Thea
Guest - Emily on Sunday, 20 December 2009 14:07

thank you so much for coming to school to answer some of our amazing questions.
You were a big help and inspired me to start writing a new book, i will e-mail you the begining of it very soon!
Thank you again so much!

thank you so much for coming to school to answer some of our amazing questions. You were a big help and inspired me to start writing a new book, i will e-mail you the begining of it very soon! Thank you again so much! :)
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