|One of the three Billy Goats|
I started to teach creative writing and writing picture books around three years ago. During that time I've experimented with different ways to encourage students to practice their writing skills. One of the methods I've successfully used is to encourage students to recreate old stories by using tweets. If you've never heard of Twitter (and tweets) the idea is to create a message using just 140 characters, including the spaces.
So rather than cover a topic I've decided to set a challenge for the visitors to The Picture Book Den.
Next time you have ten minutes free choose a fairy tale and become one of the characters. Create a series of tweets that tell that characters side of the story.
To demonstrate what I mean here is my retelling of 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff' from the point of view of the troll. If you've never read the story then follow this link.
Woken this morning by a small goat trying to cross my bridge without paying a toll #angrytroll
This morning caught a second goat trying to sneak across my bridge without paying toll. Can't believe how rude goats can be. #angrytroll
Discovered a third goat attempting to cross bridge without paying toll. He even head butted me! #angrytroll
How do these goats expect me to stay in business? No toll, no bridge, no way to cross river to eat delicious grass! #angrytroll
Reluctant sale of bridge, been in family for generations. License to charge toll. High daily foot fall. #businessforsale
Note: Using a hash tag before a term allows other Twitter users to find your tweets by using the same term.
I'm hoping if you give this a go you can see how you can have fun with a well-known story, make it your own and practice your craft. This process may not lead to a published book but it does give you the opportunity to exercise your writing muscle in a fun way.
If anyone does give it a go please do share your results here.
P.S. Follow me on Twitter and I promise to follow back @lynnegarner
P.P.S. The goat used to illustrate this piece is a free download (which I've rendered) from my website Anansi Spider Stories - if you have kids then please visit there are loads of free colouring pages you can download.