Thinking inside the box

Today was the first day of the writing camp I’m leading at CBIS, an international school in Seoul, Korea.

We kicked off the week by coming up with a strong inciting incident for a story—a magical box that is stolen (or discovered) by the main character. We looked at plenty of enchanted vessels from mythology, fairytales, and fantasy books, including Pandora’s box, Aladdin’s lamp, and the black cauldron. Of course, I also told them how I camp up with the idea of the enchanted chest for my own book, Kendra Kandlestar and the Box of Whispers.

After fueling up with these ideas, the students did some brainstorming on their own, coming up with designs that they then translated onto actual miniature boxes. The final step was to write the actual story. I love this process, because it allows the students’ imaginations to percolate while they paint. Once they do begin writing, they have less trouble describing their boxes because, of course, they are sitting right there in front of them!

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