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Inventing Villains with Abi Elphinstone12th October 2016

Written by: Amanda Houghton-Brown

During the summer I noticed a workshop detailed in the Cheltenham Literature Festival booklet which sounded perfect for our Year Five pupils. I applied and was lucky enough to obtain tickets for five of our pupils to this intimate workshop with renowed author Abi Elphinstone.

What a treat the afternoon turned into! Sienna had already read both her books (The Shadow Keeper and The Dreamsnatcher) and has been conversing with the author by email. Therefore, soon after the seminar started I was able to introduce Sienna to Abi and from then on she was a regular at our table!

Abi is an inspiring lady who has travelled the world and collected many ideas for her stories along the way. The title of the Workshop was 'Inventing Villains' and we certainly did that!

To start with we thought about famous villains from films and books; discussing their names, features and body language. We looked at language and how we could create some very descriptive phrases as well as leaning what an oxymoron was.

Abi then brought out objects from a bag and we imagined how we could entwine these objects into our story.

When we started writing we thought about a special power our character may have, then considered their physical features, clothing and whether they might disguise themselves by appearing normal.

Abi was extremely keen on Sienna’s idea that her villain would be a shadow that always followed you and she indicated that she may use Sienna’s idea in a future book. How exciting!

Finally, we looked at how to draw a map with weird and wonderful places on it to conjure up the plot of an adventure story, and then we gave our villain a name.

The standard of the writing produced was exceptional and these final drafts will soon be available to read in the Alder/Poplar corridor.


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