Writing Lesson 31 – Journaling the Story

Studying the Plot

I asked one of my kids to read Victor Hugo’s classic Les Miserables when she was in high school. Have your ever seen an unabridged copy of the book? It’s hundreds of pages…thousands and thousand of words!

“How do you expect me to remember everything that happens in this long story?” Rachel asked.

I told her that I’d like her to read the book for a set minimum amount of time and then write a brief journal entry about the events she’d read about that day. It took her a few days to figure out what to include in her journal entries, and what she could omit. But when she finished the book, she had created a custom-made synopsis of the plot. The story captivated her, and the process of note-taking helped Rachel “own” the story for herself.

If you’re faced with reading a complicated classic, you might consider trying this exercise. Not only will you have a helpful summary of the story (a big help if you have to write a book report once you’ve finished reading!), you’ll be getting a daily tutorial in plot creation from a master of the craft.

For more writing help from Michelle Van Loon, visit www.homepagewriting.com

About Michelle Van Loon

Author Michelle Van Loon home schooled her three children for 13 years. All three graduated from home school and are now young adults. Michelle began teaching groups of home schooled students in her local co:op what the Lord had taught her about writing. Over a decade ago, the success of these classes led to the launch of her home school writing tutorial business (www.homepagewriting.com).

Read more about Michelle.

Speak Your Mind