Generating Story Ideas

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Some gifted children love to make up stories. They seem to have a never-ending supply of stories they want to share and enjoy writing them down. Other children who want to write stories have a hard time coming up with fresh ideas to write about. Even those children who are usually full of ideas may experience the dreaded writer's block. Sometimes it's just hard to come up with good story ideas.

If your child is eager to write a story but is finding it hard to come up with a story idea, share these suggestions with you budding author.

They can help get the creative juices flowing.

Write a Story Based on a Picture Book

Many books are created for young pre-readers that have no text, just pictures. The pictures provide wonderful clues for a story line. In addition, the pictures are wonderful ways for kids to practice writing descriptions.They can look at the pictures and write out detailed descriptions of what they see.

Write Fan Fiction

We all know what it's like to come to the end of a favorite story. We hate to say goodbye to our favorite characters. We want to know more about their lives. But why wait for the author to keep the characters alive? Kids can think about a new situation for their favorite characters and then imagine what they might do. For example, Harry Potter fans can imagine what it might be like if Harry and his friends visited the United States on Halloween! Would they go trick-or-treating? What would happen?

Play "What if?"

This idea is similar to fan fiction, but it can have wider uses. One approach is to take favorite characters and stories and imagine what would happen if some part of the story changed. For instance, what might have happened if Harry Potter had accepted Malfoy's offer of friendship in the first book?

This method can be used for almost anything! What if time machines really existed? What if we could travel through black holes? What if the British had beat the colonists in America? This method can be used for every interest - science, history, anything!

Check the News

Teenagers might want to look at the news and imagine the details of the stories behind the headlines. For example, if there is a story about a homeless man being helped by a local shelter, you child can make up a story about how the man came to be homeless. She can also add details on how the man's life changed after being helped by the shelter. (Names should be changed, of course!)

Find Sources Online

Generating ideas for stories is a popular topic among writers, so it's not too difficult to find ideas online. Here are a couple of pages with many ideas:

If your child loves to write, nurture that love. Help him find ideas to write about whenever he gets stuck.

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