EASTCHESTER, N.Y. A Tuckahoe author returned to his roots and his passions Wednesday, speaking to seventh-graders at Eastchester Middle School about the process of writing.
Eastchester alumni David Carraturo, author of Cameron Nation and Columbus Avenue Boys, gave a presentation about the creative writing process and then hosted a writing workshop with smaller classes of students.
Carraturo fielded a variety of questions from the students about creating characters, inserting dialogue, crafting an ending and deciding how long a book ought to be.
I think it went very well. Theyre all great creative writers and were eager to ask diverse questions about every aspect of the process, he said. I wanted to help them learn how to create a story, and how to overcome some of the stumbling blocks they will inevitably face.
It was important for students to see an area author who has been published, said seventh-grade teacher Lori Trenholm, who helped organize the event.
They were really excited to have an Eastchester graduate and local author come in, she said. They need to see that you have to find something youre passionate about. It was also good for them to realize that writing doesnt have to be a tedious thing. It can be a labor of love.
The part-time author, who doubles as a Wall Street salesman during the day, estimates that each book took him nine months to write and an additional few months to edit. His books are based in American history, stretching from the late 1800s to the modern era. He recently started his third novel, which will take the story of Chris Cameron even further. He also plans to pen a movie script based on his books.
I never really considered myself a writer. Ive always enjoyed it and was able to give good descriptions and lots of details, Carraturo said. History is so important for people to know about. This is my way of giving back. People are going to be tricked into learning and will be entertained at the same time.
His characters are not based on people in his life, Carraturo said. But he included anecdotes and aspects from his past, including a tribute to his late mother.
Try to incorporate parts of your life in the story. Im always thinking about writing, my books and characters, he said. The problem with writing is that once you start, all you want to do in your free time is write. It has to just be one chapter at a time.
As part of the workshop, the students were given the task of reading an excerpt from Carraturos book and writing their own endings, which the author then read.
The students really became invested in the stories and the characters, Trenholm said. This was their opportunity to explore them on their own.
Sometimes you just have to start writing. My hope is that one or two of these kids do just that, Carraturo said. Some people dont believe they can write, but I truly believe that everyone has a book in them.
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