I wrote recently about the writing curriculum we've been using this year. My kids have loved the program, so I asked my daughter Jerah to write up her thoughts on the curriculum.
Last fall my brother and I started a writing curriculum called One Year Adventure Novel (also known as OYAN).
Before I started OYAN, I wrote often, and I still do. I send stories to my friend, and she sends her stories to me.
But OYAN has helped me concentrate more on the quality of my writing. I'm convinced that my writing has gotten better since I started OYAN.
OYAN focuses not only on how to write, but also on how to plan a story. Before OYAN I would come up with a book idea and just start writing. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but most of the time I gave up because I had no story goal or I didn't know who the bad guy was. But usually I gave up because I didn't know where the book was headed.
This curriculum addressed that problem and led me step by step in the process of laying out my novel. That way I knew the story goal, I knew who the bad guy was, and I knew where my novel was headed.
It also helped me write an attention-getting synopsis. If a book doesn't have an interesting synopsis, a reader will usually assume the book is just as bad as the synopsis, even if it isn't.
But OYAN isn't one of those boring this-is-how-you-have-to-do-it programs. It gives me freedom to make my own choices about my book, but within certain guidelines. Not only does OYAN help me with my writing, but the teacher, published author Daniel Schwabauer, presents some lessons in a way that makes me laugh.
OYAN is an amazing curriculum. And when I say that, I'm pretty sure I'm speaking for almost all OYANers.
Jerah is an 11-year-old aspiring author, Jesus freak, and self-proclaimed animal nut. When she's not doing her schoolwork, you can find her working on one of her many novels, reading a good book, posting on the OYAN forum, or spending time with her real-life friends.
If you want to learn more about the One Year Adventure Novel writing curriculum, you can order a free DVD here.