Outdoor students have recently begun brainstorming what makes a good book or bad book. A few said that they have never read a book they did not like, so the assignment yesterday was for them to write a “bad” book in groups of three. They went to work creating undeveloped characters, nonsensical plots, and disjointed language.
One featured the tentative story line for a made-up video game; another, entitled “Dat Girl,” harnessed the power of colloquialisms. A third featured a ravenous Shrek, a rock named Jupiter, and a chipmunk apocalypse.
Selected excerpts: “One day I was playing ice hockey and I stepped on a ladybug but somehow it didn’t die and just got really mad and attacked me…”
“Will’s favorite color is yellow. And then it rained. And then the boy with the pet rock noticed that the rock escaped and then the boy’s cat was missing and his mom was missing too.”
“When dat girl found them hiding in the closet, she went into the closet and ate both dem boys. She came out of the closet all full.”
The idea is that if students understand the shortcomings of a bad book, then writing a good one will be easier. They will give their best effort at writing a good book starting in November in conjunction with National Novel Writing Month.