During a special writing day, Tim Murgatroyd challenged his young authors to create something distinctive – and they delivered
Creating Character Through Setting. An unusual rallying cry to inspire some of Huntington School’s keenest writers in Year 10! Happily, this group of 14 and 15 year olds took on the challenge and, as I hope you will agree, proved the mettle of their pens.
The one day writing workshop explored how to use descriptions of setting to introduce complex characters. Our focus was on mood, atmosphere, essential facts and hints about the character’s backstory.
The watchwords of the day were “telling details”. The workshop itself was based on a course I ran for budding professional novelists at York University’s Festival of Writing – so there was plenty of challenge.
The choice of genre was left up to the students – poem, opening of a story, monologue – as was the content of the writing. Our plan was to encourage creativity through freeing up the imagination then reining it back via a tight word count. As a result, all the pieces aim to be short and strong, chasers rather than the full case.
If you enjoy our students’ writing, please look at Huntington School’s website!
Read the stories and poems
- Tim Murgatroyd is an English teacher at Huntington School. He is also the author of two novels set in ancient China, Taming Poison Dragons and Breaking Bamboo
- The third instalment of his China trilogy, Mandate of Heaven will be published in September 2013
- His novels have been translated into Chinese by Dr Lily Chen for Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing House
- For more about Tim’s writing, go to his website