Does reading a particular author have an impact on a teen’s WRITING?
C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy
My son, Nathan (pictured below with his lovely wife), is working on his PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Maryland. I asked him about the influence that C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy had on him when he read it when he was a homeschool middle and high schooler.
Here’s what he told me:
I haven’t reread most of them (beyond the 2 times I read them in middle/high school) in a long time, but as a middle schooler I wanted to write exactly like Lewis, especially mimicking his style in the Space Trilogy.
Now that I’m reading lots of classical/medieval composition textbooks for my PhD, I’m finding again that imitation of good writers is one of the central strategies of all writing instruction until the 20th century. I intuited that same move as a young’un, and it was C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy that I wanted to imitate. I reckon I was able to build on that approach, picking up styles from other good authors as I grew, and having such good reading helped me do lots of my own writing.
(Note from mom: Most kids don’t read the Space Trilogy until junior or senior year. Nathan has always been a precocious reader- conquering the entire Trilogy in middle school.)
Nathan has grown up to be an excellent writer, a skill that he learned from C.S. Lewis’ powerful books of the Space Trilogy:
7Sisters Study Guides for the Space Trilogy give guidelines to the way Lewis wrote these books, introducing homeschool high schoolers to steps of writing Myth-Fantasy. An excellent follow up to these study guides is 7Sisters Myth-Fantasy Short Story Writing Guide, which uses these same steps to coach teens through the creation of their own fantasy story.