More kids are writing today than in the history of the world.
Reread that sentence. It’s an astounding thought! We have the Internet to thank for this explosion in writing among young people. One of the fastest-growing online genres is called fan fiction.
The writing of fan fiction has become increasingly popular in recent years, and the vast majority of the writers and readers in this genre of fiction are teenagers. Given the continued popularity of this genre, we want a way for your kids to get in on the action!
Writing fan fiction involves the creation of stories and books around already existing characters from a previously published work of literature or other art forms. Obviously, this type of story cannot be published for profit as the characters belong to the original author; however, students can learn a great deal about the fiction writing process from writing fan fiction.
The most popular works of fan fiction (according to FanFiction.net) involve the characters from the book series Lord of the Rings, Twilight, and Percy Jackson; the movie series Star Wars and The Avengers; the anime series Naruto; and the TV series Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Sherlock. However, a great deal of fanfiction is also written from the works of classic authors such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, plus games such as Pokémon. Really, almost any book, television program, anime, game, or movie can be the basis of a fanfiction story.
Your students will have the chance to explore the following literary elements in depth by writing their own works of fiction:
- Character development
- Upping the stakes (how to escalate the suspense in a novel)
- Satisfying ending (Resolution or Denouement)
They will get to practice:
- Freewriting and drafting
- Planning plot
- Developing believable characters
- Revision strategies
- Peer feedback
- Sharing their work with interested readers
The advantage of writing fan fiction is that the characters are already familiar to both the writers and most likely to the readers; therefore, young writers can concentrate on crafting the plot as they are already familiar with the characters and settings.
In this class, Susanne Barrett, author of two completed fan fiction novels and several short stories on FanFiction.net and Wattpad.com, will lead students in the creation of three fan fiction stories.
Susanne’s works of fan fiction have garnered over four million “reads” (hits) on these websites! In addition, she remains an active member of the fan fiction community through continued reading and reviewing of fan fiction plus the editing of nearly a dozen fan fiction novels over the past few years.
By the end of this class, students will have created a story worthy of publication on one of the many websites devoted to fan fiction, if desired.
What better way is there to spend the summer for kids who love to write or for kids who are reluctant to write but are devoted to a fandom?
Week One: Discussion of definition of fan fiction and which authors have requested their works to not be the subject of this genre. We'll end the week with an examination of fan fiction story examples.
Week Two: We look at writing resources to help us plot our stories and develop our characters. Then we apply those skills by writing some flash fan fiction — a 300-500 word story. We'll finish by reading each others' work and offering affirming feedback.
Week Three: We'll write a longer piece of fan fiction (1000-2000 words) and continue to offer each other feedback on what works within each other's pieces.
Week Four: We'll write one final long piece of fan fiction (1500-2500 words), receive and give feedback, and discuss future goals and publishing possibilities.
For more information about how the classes are run, please read about online classes.
To explore our Brave Writer® classroom, click here to access a sample class.
Brave Writer® online classes are specially designed with the busy homeschooling parent in mind.
Class Structure Overview #
- Class is held in a private discussion board with 20-25 other participants.
- Class is asynchronous—you log in when it is convenient for you each day of the week at no specific time of day.
- It is text-based—no video.
- Student writing assignments are posted in a text box, published to the classroom, and all students are able to read student writing.
- Class is a writing workshop format, with all coaching feedback available to be read by all families.
- Class work, student writing, and coaching feedback can be downloaded and saved in a PDF format.
Class Length and Time #
Classes last anywhere from three to six weeks. We offer courses that address a specific writing need so that you can take the ones that suit your family throughout the school year. Short class sessions enable you to work around family vacations, out-of-town swim meets, recovering from wisdom teeth removal, and visits from grandparents. We operate on the quarter system, including a summer session. Our most popular classes repeat each quarter, while others are seasonal.
We operate "asynchronously" (which means that the discussion is not live, but that posted information remains available to you in your time zone at your convenience). Instructors check the classroom throughout the day to answer questions and give feedback on writing. Writing is done at home and then typed into the classroom, and shared with both the instructor and other classmates. You're not required to be online at any specific time of the day. We have students from all over the world participating in our classes so "live" discussion is impossible. Instead, the online classroom enables the instructor to post information and assignments when it is convenient to the instructor. Then, when it is convenient for you, you come to the classroom and read the latest postings.
Private Classroom Space #
Our classes meet in a customized online classroom, designed specifically to meet the needs of Brave Writer®. Only registered students and the instructor have access to the classroom to ensure your privacy. Assignments and reading materials are posted by Brave Writer® instructors each week (no additional supply fees necessary, unless otherwise indicated). Either you (homeschooling parent) or your child (homeschooling student) will visit the classroom daily at your convenience to read helpful information about the current topic or to find the writing assignment.
Instructor feedback to student writing is offered for all participants to read. Writing questions are welcomed and encouraged! That's the point of class. We aim to give you immediate support as you face writing obstacles.
Safe Community #
Brave Writer® takes seriously the need for encouragement and emotional safety in writing. No student is ever at risk of being humiliated or mistreated. All online dialogue is respectful and supportive of your child's process. This is the core of Brave Writer® philosophy. You can read about Brave Writer® values here.
What makes our program especially unique in the world of online education is that we value a corporate experience. Rather than teaching your child in a tutorial format, we prefer students to have the opportunity to both publish their work for an audience (other students) and also to have the chance to read other student writing. In no other setting is this possible. Schools-in-buildings rarely have students read each other's work. Homeschooled children are rarely in a classroom environment to begin with, so the opportunity to read peer-writing is nil.
Our classes provide an utterly unique experience in the world of writing instruction. Since most writers grow through emulation of good writing, it is a real advantage to Brave Writer® kids to get the chance to read the writing of their fellow home-educated peers. They love it! They get to examine and internalize other ways of writing, analyzing and expressing ideas similar to their own. They have the chance to validate and cheer on their peers. And of course, the best part of all is that they receive the praise and affirmation of kids just like them.
Not only that, all instructor feedback is posted to the classroom for all students to read. That means your kids get the benefit of instructor comments on many papers, not just their own. We've noted that this style of instruction is especially effective and hope you'll agree!
To explore our Brave Writer® classroom, click here to access a sample class.