Sep 22

fiona's character deep dive


This is a template for the questionnaire I use when I’m at a stage of revising a project where I already know my characters and narrative fairly well but need to get to the next level. It shouldn’t be used for developing new characters, because it leaves off a lot of things you’ll need to get to know a new character and should know before starting this. Their voice, their attitude, their past, how they act in different scenarios. 

This questionnaire is designed to help you get a fully formed sense of your character as being more than someone who serves your narrative, as someone who was living a life and was a real and complicated human with goals and hobbies even before the story began, and is a combination of analysis and biography. I use it for screenwriting, but it should work for other forms of fiction as well. 
Jun 15

I Like

Starting with the phrase, “I like…” write a list or a run-on sentence of things, people, places you like. Load on the description. Instead of “I like movies,” expand on it -- “I like watching scary movies late at night with a bowl of salty popcorn and my buddy Chump at my side.”

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
Dec 22


Write about something seemingly ordinary — a chair, a wall, a tack — and make it extraordinary.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
Dec 20


Vermont Writes Day is coming in February 2018! Write the challenges for YWP's Day of Writing (when everyone -- everyone! -- stops to write for just seven minutes.) Write one or a list of hundreds. A team of YWPers will select the best. (Exact date of VtWritesDay TBD soon!)

Dec 15


Look out your window. Describe what you see. Now include a person or an animal wandering through the scene. How does the landscape shift? What do you see and sense?

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
Dec 08


Ask someone for a writing prompt. You could ask a parent, a teacher, a friend, a waiter — anyone. Write based on the prompt they gave you, even if you don’t like it at first.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
Sep 29


Take a photo or photos of a setting that you find inspiring. Post the photo(s) and write a short explanation of why this place touches you.
[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, phone by abouttosnap, YWP Community Leader & Photographer)
Sep 27

Free Write -- Rationale

Writing is like panning for gold or hunting for diamonds. If you get good at it, you gain a skill needed to succeed, to gain confidence, to fully participate in any learning activity and to be active in community life -- If you can express yourself, you are more apt to participate. Simple as that.

But learning to write well takes practice.

Your YWP digital classroom platform is a great space for students to practice -- to experiment, to play, to focus. Just about everything written in a class can be posted — drafts, journal entries, reflections, poems, finished pieces, discussions, narratives, podcasts, digital stories and essays. You can build a supportive writing community around this platform -- and what is done in class -- to create trust and mutual respect. That will lead to students taking creative risks, engaging in subjects that interest them and improving.
Sep 27

Free Write -- Tips

A note from Geoffrey Gevalt, YWP Founder and award-winning journalist:

Sometimes, when you sit down to write, you can't see the trees for the forest. When, in fact, you're looking for the light. That one sparkling idea.

And it doesn't come. 

And that's why Young Writers Project has long believed that challenges, or prompts, offer you, the writer, a safety net. Can't think of something to write about? No burning issue? No startling thing you noticed and remember? No particular drama in your life? Not to worry. We have ideas. For 12 years YWP has been providing daily and weekly prompts. In fact, you've probably responded to some over the years. And your teacher provably provides you a bunch more and some are on this site. (And, perhaps, you can talk to your teacher and get the class to dream up some ideas together.) 
Sep 08


Create a poem using only the titles of books near you. Write it in seven minutes!
May 12


Write one sentence that describes the sky today. Add a photo!