Short sStory Prompts


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Short sStory Prompts

  1. 1. Short Story Prompts Mister Connor’s Class
  2. 2. Choose one of the following: <ul><li>A babysitter is snooping around her employer's house and finds a disturbing photograph... </li></ul><ul><li>It's your character's first day at a new school. He or she wants a fresh start, develop a new identity. But in his or her homeroom, your character encounters a kid he or she knows from their last school... </li></ul><ul><li>Your character suspects her husband is having an affair and decides to spy on him. What she discovers is not what she was expecting... </li></ul><ul><li>Your character goes out for dinner on a date and becomes attracted to the waiter or waitress... </li></ul><ul><li>Your character is a writer. But his new neighbours are so noisy that he can neither work nor sleep. He decides to take action... </li></ul>
  3. 3. Characters <ul><li>Your story should have no more than THREE characters. </li></ul><ul><li>A protagonist, an antagonist and A. N. Other. </li></ul><ul><li>You must make these realistic, believable. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Characters (2) <ul><li>Jot down notes for the following sub-headings: </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance (face, hair, clothing, age, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Personality (accent, beliefs, fears, weaknesses, tastes) </li></ul><ul><li>Motivations (what is important to them and why) </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, consider these notes and give your character an APPROPRIATE name. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Characters (3) <ul><li>Borrow someone else’s character notes and read over them. </li></ul><ul><li>Hand the notes back and ask questions about their character – what do you think is missing? </li></ul><ul><li>As these questions are asked, add to your character notes. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Character (4) <ul><li>Now write two paragraphs presenting your character. </li></ul><ul><li>Write from an external, third-person perspective. </li></ul><ul><li>Write as though you are describing a photograph. </li></ul><ul><li>Show me the character – don’t simply tell me. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Character (5) <ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><li>Stephen Postlethwaite is a survivor of the second world war. He is ninety-seven years old. He has brown eyes and white hair. </li></ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul><ul><li>Stephen sat , hunched over with his ninety-seven years; his brown eyes struggling for sight, his thinning white hair unkempt. The memories of 1941 are as keen today as the day they were formed. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Location <ul><li>Location must be reasonably detailed to convey a sense of reality. Readers find it much easier to engage with a location they can picture and understand. </li></ul><ul><li>Jot down notes about what the location looks like, feels like. Use your five senses to help you. </li></ul><ul><li>Detail is KING. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Location (2) <ul><li>Again, write a full description of the location in two paragraphs. </li></ul><ul><li>You MUST focus on showing the reader the details rather than simply telling them. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe what you are seeing as though you are describing a single image. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Plot <ul><li>Will you use a CHRONOLOGICAL order, or something more difficult? </li></ul><ul><li>You could start at the end and then retell the events leading up to it. (This only works if you start from a very dramatic end-point) </li></ul><ul><li>You could drop the reader straight into the middle of the story. </li></ul><ul><li>Jot down how you will approach your story. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Plot (2) <ul><li>Now make a plan of how your story will progress. </li></ul><ul><li>Note the key events you need to include. </li></ul><ul><li>The fuller your plan is, the easier your work will be later. </li></ul><ul><li>Have somebody else read over your plan to check it makes logical sense. </li></ul>