Sunday, October 12, 2014

Masquerade Mystery!

Greetings Creative Writers!

Have you ever been to a Masquerade Ball? These parties have quite a history, dating all the way back to the 13th and 14th century in Europe.

Today, they are most common around Carnival season (Mardi Gras) and Halloween. It is customary to arrive to the party wearing a mask to conceal your identity. Throughout the evening, people will try guessing who you are. 

Masquerades are different than other costume parties because the emphasis is on the mask. While people dress in formal clothing, they are not trying to resemble a character like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Michelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or any other popular character. 

Below is a famous scene from the Phantom of the Opera. Notice the elaborate masks and costumes. Also, notice the dancing. Masquerades are known for formal dancing.  

Here is your creative writing challenge:

Use a Masquerade Ball as the setting for your story? Who is hosting this Masquerade Ball? Does it take place in a well known city? Or on a different planet? Maybe your characters aren't even human! Maybe they are mice in the woods or rats in the sewer or aliens on Mars. 

Now, who is your main character, and what does he/she/it want?

Now, create a conflict at this Masquerade. Does an uninvited guest appear? Does someone get kidnapped? Is the Masquerade interrupted by a storm, fire, flood, earthquake or SPACE INVASION? Be creative!

Happy Writing!

Professor Watermelon

Monday, October 6, 2014

It's the Great Pumpkin Barbershop Quartet!

Dear Creative Writers!

It is time to activate your imaginations. Above you see six pumpkins, but four of them have faces carved into them. Imagine that these four pumpkins are singing. In fact, they are a barbershop quartet. Do you know what that is?

Well, a barbershop quartet is a group who sings in four-part-harmony! They also sing "a cappella". That means that they are singing without instrumental background. No piano. No drums. No nothing! 

Below is a video of one man pretending to be a barbershop quartet. To be a real barbershop quartet, there would have to be four "real" people singing the four different parts. 

Here is your creative writing challenge: 

Listen to the "barbershop quartet" below. BUT imagine that the voices are coming from the pumpkins above. 

Now, it is time to write these pumpkins' story. How did the group meet? Who taught them how to sing? Where do they want to go? Who is trying to stop them?

This is going to be a treat! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Have fun with this, and HAPPY WRITING!

Professor Watermelon