One of the thousands of reasons I love riding my bike is that is gives me opportunity for reflection. Tonight in spin class, I cranked and cranked and cranked the tension knob until my quads were bands of fire. Then my spin instructor told me to crank it up some more. Just when I thought my calf muscles would burst, he said, “Good job. Now take it down. Way down.” I cannot adequately express the relief I felt when all the tension was released. I was so happy I was seeing white.
It’s appropriate that I was reflecting on tension tonight because I was teaching a lesson on that very thing today. Our focus during writing was how to create tension in fictional pieces. We talked about pushing the problem to its absolute limit and then providing a satisfying resolution.
As I conferred with students, I was thrilled with their desire to add layers to their conflict. I was equally pleased with the thought they were giving to word choice and expression. They wrote with consideration for their audience and it showed.
They were truly crafting stories. All year long I’ve been cranking up my expectations, impressing upon them the skills and habits of writers. Lessons on voice, word gathering, developing setting, creating tension, word choice. It all came together today. Today my sweet six year olds internalized the most important lesson of all. They are writers, real writers. I couldn’t ask for a better resolution.