Bob Boone

Teacher Advice -- February, 2008

If you have been keeping up, you must know that many creative writing teachers like to have students write an entire story in a single class -- or at least try to write one. I find that once they know where they're going, they like to get there. Limited time means not worrying YET about editing and proofreading issues Limited times also means concentrating on the form of the story. Naturally these quickie stories will need much more work, but they are a start. Here are a few more prompts.

* Instead of first sentences, give your students, "Key sentences." This is the sentence that matters most. Remove the key sentence, and you destroy the story. Here are a few possibilities.

1) Edie yawned.
2) The train left the station five minutes later.
3) Buddy, his face contorted, reached into his pocket.
4) The old lady stared hard at the wrinkle.
5) My uncle wore the wrong suit.
6) Bubba blushed.
7) The key fit after all.
8) This was not the first time Yolanda had been asked that question.
9) For the first time, Sid felt the sting of her silence.
10) Unbelievably she had forgotten my name.

* Character with a problem

1) Selfish dentist must deal with his daughter's misbehavior.
2) Overrated coach must find a way to get his team to win.
3) Superstitious scientist must hire a replacement
4) Overworked spy must find out if his buddy is betraying him
5) Sadistic snail must convince his wife to move
6) Image conscious politician must cope with a fatal disease.
7) Underweight second stringer must play line backer in the big game.
8) Cynical cop must solve the case of her life.
9) Angry and talented performance poet wants blue collar parents to appreciate his efforts.
10) Failed business man must convince boss he finally has a good idea.

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