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The Basildon Academies

Author works with Express Group

Published author Echo Freer spends the day with our Express Group students.

Recently I was invited to Basildon Lower Academy to speak to a group of mixed Years 7-9 followed by a creative writing workshop on Creating Original Characters. The students listened intently to the talk which was about my life, my career as an author and the process of writing a book from idea to bookshelf. And, although they were a bit shy about asking questions initially, once they warmed up, some of the questions were extremely interesting and searching.

After break, 52 of the students took part in a workshop in which they had to each create their own original character from scratch. First they had to think about the type of story they would want to write and then the character that would be best to lead that story forwards. We discussed the differences between a story and the plot of a story: plot is the series of events that take the story from beginning to end and relies on the main character's reaction or response to the problems and obstacles they encounter.

Then the students began to create their main protagonist, from their physical features to their personality and their strengths and weaknesses. Some of the students came up with extremely strong and highly original characters. We also played `in the hot seat' where students had to come to the front as their character and answer questions from the rest of the group.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and the students produced some excellent work.                              
Echo Freer

“Having Echo come in was a fun and interactive experience and I would love to do it again.” Megan Dunn - Year 8

“Echo told us about her life and how she became a writer, her books seem very interesting. It was a very inspiring day.” Amber Yoozooph - Year 7

“Echo gave us some really good descriptive writing advice to help us create our characters. It was a really enjoyable day.” Helen Wade - Year 8