Over the next few weeks, you will write a short story that is between 5 and 7 pages (double-spaced). The final draft will be due on Monday, January 4 (you will have Winter Break to finalize it). During this time, you will work on this piece in class via “Writing Workshops” which will be held once or twice per week. On days when we do not have a writing workshop, we will continue to discuss the short stories for this unit. You will also maintain a Writing Journal.
During the writing workshops, you will be writing or talking about writing. Get into the habit of coming to class prepared to continue your story for 45 minutes. Even if you think you are finished, your work can always be improved, so make the best of your time.
From time to time you will be asked to share your story with me or with your colleagues. With that in mind, make sure you stay on track. Do not fall behind and do not move too far ahead. Some people can drill out five pages in a weekend, but I want you to take your time with the writing process. You should have an idea of where your story is heading. You should know well what you’ve already written. Make sure you have every part of your story (that is, every part you’ve written) with you in class during our Writing Workshops. If I ask to see your story, I will not accept excuses, such as “I forgot it home.” When I ask for it, I need to see it; it’s as simple as that.
You will also maintain a writing journal—this is in addition to your Reading Journal—that keeps track of your writing process, serves as an outlet for ideas, and aids with outlining. From time to time, I will provide detailed writing prompts for the journal, but for the most part, you will be on your own. I may ask to look at your Writing Journal from time to time.
The content of your story will not be graded as long as you meet the following requirements:
Your story cannot contain excessive grammatical or spelling errors.
Your story must be logical. Logical does not necessarily mean linear. Logical means it must make sense to me and your classmates. Do not introduce certain characters only to forget about them. Do not add unnecessary plot lines that you do not resolve. Do not make changes halfway through the story that don’t coincide with what you’ve already written.
You must include all the parts of a story: Exposition, rising actions, climax, falling actions, and denouement (no partial stories). It should also have a title.