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How Classes Work
Brave Writer’s Online Classroom
July 9 - August 3, 2013
Registration opens: June 4, 2013
$199.00 per student
12 - 18 year olds
More kids are writing today than in the history of the world.
Reread that sentence. It’s an astounding thought! We have the Internet to thank for this explosion in writing among young people. One of the fastest-growing online genres is called Fan Fiction.
The writing of fan fiction has become increasingly popular in recent years, and the vast majority of the writers and readers in this genre of fiction are teenagers. So it seemed fitting that Brave Writer should offer a class in this growing genre of fiction writing.
Writing fan fiction involves the creation of stories and books around already existing characters from a previously published work of literature or other art form. Obviously, this type of story can not be published for profit as the characters belong to the original author; however, students can learn a great deal about the fiction writing process from writing fan fiction.
The most popular works of fan fiction involve the characters from the Harry Potter series, the Twilight books, and the Hunger Games trilogy. However, a great deal of fan fiction is also written from the works of Jane Austen as well as past and current television shows and movies. Really, almost any book, television program, or movie can be the basis of a fan fiction story.
Your students will have the chance to explore the following literary elements in depth by writing their own works of fiction:
- Character development
- Upping the stakes (how to escalate the suspense in a novel)
- Satisfying ending (Resolution or Denouement)
They will get to practice:
- Freewriting and drafting
- Planning plot
- Developing believable characters
- Revision strategies
- Peer feedback
- Sharing their work with interested readers
Fan Fiction went mainstream in late 2011 with the publication of P. D. James’ Austen fan fiction entitled Death Comes to Pemberley. In this recent novel by one of the most well-known mystery writers in Great Britain, the character of Wickham is accused of murder, forcing Elizabeth and Darcy into the awkward position of having to prove his innocence. Because Jane Austen’s works are no longer under copyright, Ms. James was able to publish this work of fan fiction for publication and profit.
The advantage of writing fan fiction is that the characters are already familiar to both the writers and most likely to the readers; therefore, young writers can concentrate on manipulating the plot as they are already familiar with the characters and settings.
In this class, Susanne Barrett, author of two fan fiction novels and several short-story length works on FanFiction.net and Wattpad.com, will lead students in the creation of a short work of fan fiction.
Susanne’s works of fan fiction have garnered nearly a million “reads” (hits) on these websites!
In addition, her Master of Arts in English Literature and her ten years of experience at Brave Writer make her uniquely well-suited for teaching this new course.
By the end of this class, students will have created a story worthy of publication on one of the several websites devoted to fan fiction, if desired.
What better way is there to spend the summer for kids who love to write?
Tentative Class Schedule:
Week One: Discussion of definition of fan fiction and which authors have requested their works to not be the subject of this genre. Examination of fan fiction story examples. Free writing exercise to determine topic/work of fan fiction to be written.
Character study exercise to aid in developing already established characters. Plot exercise/assignment to study the elements of plot in preparation for plotting the story. Discussion and writing of a plot outline for the story.
Writing of first draft of fan fiction story.
Peer evaluation of first drafts of fan fiction stories. Revision and editing of first drafts. Posting (and possible online publication, with parental permission) of final fan fiction stories.
Note: More exercises may be added to the first two weeks of class as needed to aid students in creating the best quality fan fiction stories possible.