Generally speaking, you could write...
letters (complaint/request, to a newspaper, personal)
narrative (a story, which you narrate about your life)
a short story
a continuation of a previous story
Story Starter Ideas
Think of the most usual person you’ve ever seen (but never spoke to)
-give that person a story
-have her/him narrate a story
Do the same as above only with a person you always see around town, on the mall or on the hill etc.
Describe an elaborate or meaningful door: (Kim Keig’s idea)
-what/who lies on either side of it?
-have your character(s) go through the door to the other side
“Varnish the Truth” tell a true story but change some of the facts; change details to make the story more exciting or more meaningful.
Write your own Allegory. Have a message and translate it into other terms. Use symbols and symbolic characters to show your message.
Have two characters in separate settings on a collision course to meet.
What will happen when they meet?
Why is there meeting significant?
Who are they?
Look through unique pictures and tell the story that preceded the photo, tell what happened next, or both.
Start a story with this line: “Where were you last night?”
-Who said this? Why?
-To whom was it addressed?
-What is the answer?
Start a story with this line: As soon as I walked in the door, I knew I would be staying.
-Why won’t s/he stay?
-Where was s/he? What was happening?
Take a straightforward story and tell it out of order. Disrupt the timeline. Start at the Climax and back up.
Write a story about a little-know facet of a famous person/legendary hero/heroine’s life.
Start a story with your main character defending her/himself.
-what does s/he have to defend? to whom?
Start a story with dialogue between two characters with a secret. (But don’t reval the secret right away).
-what’s their secret?
-from whom are they hiding it?
Describe an event or scene as viewed from a window.
-who sees it?
-what happens after?
Retell a legend, a myth or a fable. Make all the elements modern or futuristic.
Retell an urban legend but put it in a different era. How would it be different?
Describe a landscape as seen by an old woman whose detestable husband has just died. (do not mention the husband or his death initially).
-Where is she?
-How is she seeing things now?
Describe a lake as seen by a young person who just committed a crime:
(do not mention the crime initially).
Topics for Narratives:
Think of some the best stories of your life—could be funny, intense surprising—who knows?
Write a slice of your biography: a phase, an important day, a turning point an unforgettable occurrence.
Write a bit of your personal philosophy
Topics for Essays:
-"Three Essentials of Life" -"Good/Bad things about school”
-An interview of a classmate -"How to..."
-"The causes of..." -"The kinds of..."
-A review of.... -A Business Letter
-An Essay you began as an exercise
Follow these steps:
1) Make a list of at least five people who have influenced you--either positively or negatively.
down notes behind each name. Think
of thing unique to these people:
clothing, habits, gestures, favorite sayings, beliefs, actions and
anything else unique about them.
3) Pick a partner and tell him/her about this person who influenced you. (5-7 min.)
4) Make more notes about this influential person. Try to make sense of the notes. Order them; group them, or make an idea web.
5) From your notes, write a story (or essay) with this person (or this person's ideas) as a central character (or theme).
Think about Newspaper type articles, editorials, columns or letters to the editor:
Articles: Each paper’s front page will consist of news articles. The articles should strive for an unbiased, retelling of an event. The article should have a headline, a lead (summary or teaser), and each article should work from the general to the specific (inverted pyramid).
Editorials: Each paper will have an editorial, to which each member will contribute. The editorial will represent the paper’s official opinion. The editorial staff will address a topic which they deem relevant.
Column: Each editorial page should have at least one column. Above the column, there should be a picture of the writer and a title for the writer’s “recurring” opinion pieces.
Letters: The letters can come from a variety of sources: staff members, classmates, NV students/staff, practically anyone.
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