About… the Story
That story began in July 2017. Another summer was pointing its warm weather and, like every summer or long holidays, students were going to be thrown in Education Centres or share the hot days with private teachers to learn and improve their academic English, through… academic exercises!
However, I wanted to make it a bit different, at least for some students.
So, earlier in June, I created a course called “How to write a book”, which became later “Young Authors”. My aim was to teach only to some young learners and see how this course was going to be received, and what would be the children’s reaction: reluctant or not?
How to write a book, from the first idea to the final steps, including the cover page, was demanding but rapidly, I adjusted my lessons according to the children’s character.
Writing is more than putting down word after word, it also implies the learning of appropriate tenses, vocabulary and synonyms, how to build sentences and dialogues, and how to proofread in an enjoyable, unstressful, and pleasant way.
To my surprise, this idea took off rapidly and I got some more students than I expected within the two first weeks. The summer was going to be interesting.
Usually, students are reluctant to sit and do exercises, but these new students were extremely involved in this project, in their writing. Even parents told me how their children were excited about their books and couldn’t wait to get the hard copy.
Week after week, we worked on the writing, correcting tenses, adjusting vocabulary and spelling, building structures of their sentences, modifying dialogues, and making their characters alive by expressing feelings.
I helped them, sharing different tips and tricks to make their story better. Working with a
few students was great as I could pay the necessary attention to each of them. No need to say that these lessons were private, one to one.
Even though if at first sight it seems easy to write a book, most, if not all of them, faced the same struggles to pursue and achieve their journey like any other author. Writing a book is an edifying eternal battle inundated with desperate moments, fears of blank pages, never-ending word sentences, doubts of having appropriate ideas, and carrying a useless burden, a heavy one.
However, at each lesson, when more words were written, more excited these young authors became. I was astonished that some of them raised their own expectations. Finally, after a more or less 8 to 12 weeks of work, they all finished with a book in their hands, cover page and biography included.
Their smile was worth all the efforts and commitments involved from both sides.
Writing a book requires at least a little bit of imagination, but this is not the only skill needed. A method, a direction of proceeding, a way of « how to », a structure, are imperative. It is useless to say that these students rapidly learn the crucial and essential qualities involved in this adventure: perseverance and determination.
Without hesitation, I can say the young authors love to write their books. They love so much that many of them want to keep writing another book. They aim to write a new story but a different genre.
Nonetheless, all, unanimously, want to have a bigger content. In short, more words! I am amazed that students who were horrified in front of a 100 words school composition are now not only facing a long story but feel happy at the count of thousands of words. More they have, happier they are! Never I saw students being involved and participating so much in a course or project like this one. Lesson after lesson, words, sentences, and paragraphs are added and the story becomes slowly but surely a « real » book. They are right to be proud of it! And I am proud to help them to make it!
In summer 2017, the age of these students was from 6 to 8 years old. None of them had any experience in writing a novella (short story) but all of them succeeded. Since then, other young authors joined the club. More others are following and adults are welcome too!
To keep the experience valuable, I promised to publish their books on a website and making their novellas available as an ebook (PDF) format. This is now accomplished through this website, Editions Abisai.
No matter the age of the writer, with help about how making and organizing ideas, texts, and pages, books of any genre (fiction or non-fiction), you can make it too. If you have any question, feel free to leave me a word. It will be my pleasure to answer you.
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