Writing through To Kill a Mockingbird provides a seminar in creative writing through a set of self-paced video lectures. Jonathan Rogers explores this masterpiece of American fiction to teach writers how to use point of view, pacing, and mannerisms to write what you know.
Dr. Rogers has written The Wilderking Trilogy, The World According to Narnia, and other books.
Writing Through To Kill a Mockingbird is part of the new series Creative Writing with Jonathan Rogers. Purchase the whole series or explore one of the other lecture sets for your homeschool:
Writing Exercise #1
This is a two-part exercise about first-person point of view:
- Pick a familiar fairytale or folktale and retell it in first person from the point of view one of the characters.
- Then tell the same story again, in first person from the point of view of another character.
Writing Exercise #2
Skim two chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird and note every place where Harper Lee shifts from writing in-scene to writing out-of-scene, or vice versa.
Now go back to the out-of-scene sections. What does Harper Lee accomplish by pulling out of scene? Some of the possibilities from the video lesson include:
- Providing exposition or background information
- Conveying necessary information
- Moving the story along or skipping ahead
- Establishing tone and voice
We’ve been through all of the Writing with Jonathan Rogers series, and each course has been brilliantly written to either build upon each other or to be used independently. Writing with to Kill a Mockingbird further develops the idea of writing in-scene and out-of-scene which has been helpful to our high schooler who has been writing fiction for the past couple of years. The lectures and exercises have been especially helpful in scaling back his abstract descriptions to improve his writing. You can read more about our experience with this program at https://www.halfahundredacrewood.com/writing-through-the-wardrobe-writing-with-hobbits/