Mrs. P’s 4th annual Be-A-Famous Writer Contest opens for submissions starting September 1st. Kathy Kinney of the Drew Carey Show who starred as Mimi heads up Mrs. P and provides wonderful storytelling via You Tube. The winners in the two age groups (4-8 years of age and 9-13 years of age) will have their story professionally illustrated and made into a hard-cover book! To learn more about how to enter this year’s contest go to: www.mrsp.com.
Below are some suggestions to help your child start working on their short story.
- Start by reading short stories to your children or students. By doing this you are showing them what a short story is and helps them to start thinking about what type of story they would like to write.
- Spend about 15 minutes and brainstorm different ideas about the character and plots for their story. Have them write down three of their favorite ideas and start to think about settings and other variables, such as does their character have a brother or sister who they take on their adventure.
- Have them narrow it down to one favorite character. You can use Penelope the Purple Power as inspiration or create a new character. Have them write down their characteristics such as their physical and personality traits, friends and family, and typical behaviors. By developing their character more thoroughly helps them to better understand their where they want to take them in the story.
- Work on scene development. Imagine a place and write as many details as you can about this place. What sights and sounds do you hear in this place? Doing this exercise helps them to start to think about the methods used to create a setting.
- Practice writing their story from different perspectives such as in first person, then second and third person. Reread each draft and see which style of narration you like best.
- Write a rough draft now that you have all of the basics outlined such as character development, setting, and plot.
- Have your child read you the story. Make suggestions such as “What does this character look like” and “Describe this setting more.” By providing positive feedback encourages them to enjoy creating stories.
Ms. Corey Green, a fellow writer, created a great outline for older students to follow: http://www.coreygreen.com/documents/storyplanningworksheet.pdf
Good luck with creating your short story! As an extra incentive – the first five people who email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) their child’s short story featuring Penelope the Purple Power will receive a signed copy of Penelope!