As of right now in my drafting process, I share my ideas as they develop with my family, friends, and students, but I have not joined an official writing circle. I would eventually like to do that.
Feedback is such an important part of my students’ writing process. Now, I am not talking about editing. I am talking about big idea brainstorming and craft feedback. Just today I worked with a group of three students via Teams. They each shared a passage from their Self-Selected Writing Piece (If you would like to know more about this writing assignment, visit my scholarly works page). One wanted feedback on her revised ending: she decided to include dialogue in the piece and wanted to confirm that the conversation enhanced the overall mood of the piece. Another student had writer’s block and didn’t know where to go in her piece. The last has been working on his own sci-fi novel (I swear he is going to be the next Christopher Paolini) and wanted to confirm his revised prologue set up the story better.
We bounced ideas off of each other and built on those various ideas. By the end of the call, the first student felt confident in her ending and was ready to start thinking about her next piece. The second student had a plethora of ideas that she would explore and had a plan of where she would take her story next. The last student had four paragraphs to play with in order to build more suspense and have a final epic reveal in the last paragraph of his prologue before he continued drafting.
Seeing how the collaboration supports my students makes me realize that I should join my own group. Perhaps next week I will bring my drafting to our Teams meeting and ask my kiddos for their advice.