Cruella de Vil’s Therapy and NASA Satellites

By Addissyn, age 18

Every WriteGirl workshop is a new experience. Even if you’ve been to the Huntington Gardens ten times with WriteGirl, it’s still breathtaking. The Fiction workshop was no exception.

When I entered the room where WriteGirl was holding the main events of the workshop, it was already teeming with women and girls. Stations were set up around the room, and my mentor and I immediately began to write.

We started at a plot building station where we walked a five step path to figure out the story arc, beginning with who the character is and what she wants. At the next station, we each wrote down an exciting experience and traded it for someone else’s, writing original stories based on someone’s life. Next we gave villains hearts, and, I have to say, putting Cruella de Vil through therapy was pretty entertaining.

The day continued like that with a few more writing stations and inspiring guest speakers who were writing and publishing their first novels and graphic novels. The women writers who spoke gave us fantastic advice, showing us different ways to write a scene with dialogue: letting the character’s movements speak for them or letting their words do the talking.

Then, on a full stomach, we ventured into the Huntington Gardens to hear satellites making music in the Orbit Pavilion Sound Experience. We laughed at the names of the roses in the Rose Garden and enjoyed the view of the Japanese Garden, a calming and therefore perfect place to write a scene of disruption.

At the end of the day I had several story ideas that I hope to continue in the future and it was all thanks to the inspiration WriteGirl and the Huntington Gardens provided me.