Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How to Write a Story

    Yesterday went so well!  And guess what--I'm going to another school today--not to mention that I got a speaking engagement for next Tuesday at a local college!  Things are getting so busy/exciting.
    Anyway, I spoke for an hour.  Here's a short clip from the end of the presentation.  There were 150 kids at this one.  I really had a ball and just cut loose.

Oh and Cade was actually really nice about the laptop, after he screamed for just a moment.  I took it to the computer shop and I hope they can replace the keyboard.  Thanks for all of your kind thoughts.  You might be the reason my funeral service won't be held this week.

    Anyway, here's how I helped the kids write a story (with music included because it made me less nervous.)

    Here's the basic dialogue in case it's hard to hear:

Me: What kind of story would you like to help me make up today?

A little boy: Something about a dragon who goes into a city.

Me: Perfect. What kind of music should I play for that?  Something scary, right?
*Me playing low notes on the violin*

Me: So the dragon goes into the city.  I bet this is from the dragon's point of view.  Maybe we should have him win something.  Is there a reason he's visiting the city?

A little girl: He's hungry so he found a bakeshop.  But the baker got mad and tried to hurt the dragon.

Me:  What kind of music can I play for someone who's hungry?
*Me playing silly music*
See, that song made me hungry!  So, he sees the baker and the baker's upset.  What should happen next?

A little boy: Some elves come and start a war!  Then the dragon left from his town in . . . Italy and went to the United States.

Me: Oh my.  How do all of you feel about a dragon being in the United States?!
*Me playing Old Lang Syne*
What happens now?

A little boy: Someone fights the dragon with a bazooka!

*Me playing a sharp note on the violin and acting like I got shot*

A little girl: Then the dragon searches for more food.

Me:  And I bet he finds the baker again.  I think we're getting close to the end.  Can one of you make this a happy ending?  Save us!

A little boy: He found some food.

*Me playing a happy fiddle song*

A little girl: The dragon goes back to Italy.  He finds a cave to live in and a girl to marry.

Me: That's perfect.  How does the wedding song go again?

*The kids sing "Here Comes the Bride" and then I start playing the violin with them*

All in all, I think it went great.  I had such a blast! 

P.S. If you're here for "The Sword of Senack" or more info about the kindle fire giveaway and writing/art contest, please go HERE.  If you'd like more info about "The Golden Sky," the book B & N is stocking, please go HERE.


  1. Not only did you have a blast, the kids obviously did, too!! I knew it would be great!

  2. Love this! I'm so happy for you Elisa! You are the perfect one to make those kinds of presentations.

  3. Elisa, how very fun. The kids looked like they were having so much fun. Good for you!!

  4. That was awesome! Incorporating music into it was pure genius. And here you were feeling all nervous about this. Looks like you kicked some serious butt.

  5. Great job, Veal! The whole speaking in front of large groups thing is pretty intimidating, but you looked really relaxed. I wish I could've played a violin at my presentation...LOL. Giving an update about that later. Those kids were really lucky to have you visit...:)

  6. wow! very nice! look at you! very exciting about speaking at the college. congratulations!!!

  7. Great Job, that was a whole lot of fun to watch!

  8. Fantastic! You did wonderfully. If you can get kids that engaged you know you are doing something right!

  9. You should never, ever be afraid of another speaking engagement from what I saw on that clip. Both you and the class seemed to have a fabulous time. I know I enjoyed it so much and hope you will share more videos.

  10. Geez Elisa you are a natural. Writer, musician, group leader. I will be proud to claim that I knew you before you are discovered and transition into international fame. I'll just have to work on how you can sign my Kindle copies of your books...

  11. It was so obvious that you caught those kids in your story and how much they enjoyed listening!

  12. You are a natural, well done, you need never be nervous of public speaking again.

  13. Way to go! Those kids just loved you. You seriously are such an inspiration to me!

  14. Wonderful job, looks and sounds like the kids had a lot of fun. Always interesting where they will take the story, all else fails pull out a bazooka..haha

  15. Dear Elisa, . . . you were born to be a public speaker! and a violinist! and a writer of a multitude of books! and a sewer of exceptionally beautiful outfits! and a blogger who is followed by many devoted fans! The children certainly had a great time yesterday. Thanks for the video so that we could share this with you. Peace.

  16. Kids are so great! A bake shop! Is that for pot? That would make anyone hungry!

  17. That's so adorable I can't stand it. You should get paid to do that. Or at least make those kids buy your books.


  18. Amazing! You engaged the kids and held their attention to the end.

  19. That is so awesome! Congrats on all these great things happening for you! I really enjoyed all your posts on your journey to get published. When I read the one about rewriting your book 12 times, I freaked out and thought, "I've only revised mine three times! Surely it can't be ready!" (I'm on my fourth revision)

  20. It looks like the kids (and you) had a great time! They always enjoy interactive presentations. You looked at ease with your violin with you. ;)

  21. Thank you for sharing! It is so great how kids never second guess themselves. They just say the first thing that comes to mind and have great imaginations.

    Jennifer Hedden

  22. This reminds me of the time we made up a long story in the back of a van on our way home from Mexico. I'm not surprised you became a writer. Now I can say I made up a story with a real author! :) So happy for you!

    1. That was the best trip. And the one to Florida too. I always had such a ball with you ;)