Story Starters

This week, I’ve been helping to teach classes at a writing/illustrating camp for kids. We have students ages 6-13, and it’s been a lot of fun. The children have come up with some very imaginative stories!

One of the things we discussed at the camp was how the main character of a story has a problem to overcome. After the students decided on their main character, they had to figure out what the problem was going to be. For those who were having trouble thinking of a story line, we gave them a list of story starters.

The story starters were ideas for stories that the children could build upon. A story starter might be something like:

1. Tommy arrived home from school only to discover his baby brother was now sharing his bedroom.

2. The day before the royal ball, the princess fell from her horse and broke her leg.

3. The pirate captain and his crew were ready to dig for treasure, but they lost the map.

4. Spotty the dog wanted to walk with his owner to the store, but there was a cat sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. Spotty was afraid of cats.

5. As Jane and Marvin were having a picnic in the yard, a terrible storm blew in.

You can create more story starters to get your child writing. Just choose a character and a problem, and let the story begin! But, if you need even more ideas, there’s plenty of help online. Below are a couple of sites worth visiting:

  • has a fun story starter “machine.” Just give the wheel a spin and see what comes up.
  • BookWeekOnline offers some interesting story starters for older kids. The first part of the story is written by a well-known author, but it’s up to the student to finish the adventure.

Your child might write using the story starter, or it might inspire him to develop his own storyline. Either way, story starters are a great way to get kids thinking — and writing!

Photo by kakisky

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