Friday, September 17, 2010
The Power of Imagination
Showing kids my mini-laptop and Nook gadgets: fun
Talking about writing and word choice with bunches of second graders: highlight of my month
The kids wanted to know how long it took to write my book (6 mos) and I told them how I revised it many times and had three editors to make sure it was all correct (they are learning about revisions in class). We talked about how authors very carefully pick their words so that they paint a picture in reader's minds. And I walked them through an exercise where we used our five senses to come up with word choices to describe our favorite sport. It was a challenge to describe how soccer smells ("like grass") or how dancing tastes ("salty"), but it was tremendous fun.
My favorite part came when I read a descriptive scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. We're on platform Nine and Three-Quarters and Lee has just lifted the lid of a box in his arms ... "the people around him shrieked and yelled as something inside poked out a long, hairy leg."
Just one of the fantastic throw-away tidbits that J.K. Rowling has in her books.
We had talked about how words paint a picture in your mind, but that the picture may be different in each person's head. So, I asked them, "What's in the box?"
A purple cat.
A rat with a long tail.
A hairy cat.
A tarantula (this is the one I always thought, too).
The imagination of children never ceases to amaze me (seriously? purple cat? I never saw that coming).
Posted by Susan Kaye Quinn
Author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy (YA/SF) as well as other speculative fiction. Former rocket scientist. Now I invent mind powers and dabble in steampunk.