On Monday 24th August 2015, ten pupils met at the Confucius classroom knowing only that they were there to write a book “I didn’t really know what to expect” said Emily Hammett, one of the writers.
When the writers first went in Mrs Parker and Miss Webster, the two teachers running the project, explained the task to them,
“White Water Writers is a literacy project that enables groups of up to ten writers to write and publish their own novel within five days.” – Mrs Parker.
As soon as the writers understood what lay ahead of them, they started planning. The writers were starting from scratch, the only input from the two teachers being a single side of A4 paper with a simple idea for a story, the writers had to develop this idea, draft it and proof it in less than five days!
“When we were given the brief we all started coming up with ideas about the story, and finally settled on one idea that we all liked and were happy with.” – Cara Robb
As soon as the basic plot was decided each writer had to create a character to feature in the book,
“It was interesting how everyone’s characters reflected themselves a little bit”
Each person knew their character inside out and this was important if the project was to work.
On the second day, the still basic plot had to be developed, the story was split into sections which were then story-boarded, each storyboard representing a chapter, by this point the writers had the bare bones of a whole novel and by the second half of the day they had started writing.
The writers each wrote chapters that had already been story-boarded; this meant the writer could add his or her own style to the chapter whilst still sticking to the story that had been decided on by the group.
By the end of the third day the novel was written but was by no means finished, the next two days were taken up proof reading, checking for plot holes and adding finishing touches. All that was left was to decide on a title, after much deliberation the writers decided on ‘secrets in the leaves’.
At 1300 on Friday 28th August 2015 the novelists finished their last proof read and by Saturday the book was published and on amazon available to buy.
“To hold in your hands a book you have written, is an accomplishment that most may only ever dream about, but we have achieved.”
But was it all worth it? Well yes, the response from the pupils was amazing “My time this week has been amazing writing a book. It’s crazy to think that in less than five days me and nine other people that I hadn’t really spoken to before have managed to work together and create an amazing piece of writing. I’ve made new friends, and had a great laugh working with other people.” – Morgan Frain
by Oli Walker