Exceptional Creative Essays

I’d like to share with you the Top 9 creative essays this semester. All of the essays were excellent, but these offered something a little extra, whether it was superb editing, an unique point of view, vivid imagery, or a surprising topic.  From this list, three were chosen to be the top winners.

I hope you enjoy!

Top 3

  1. The Walk Through Chaos
  2. Yellow Lights and Trapezoids
  3. Walking the Path of Another


4.  Untitled (from Dissection of a Daisy)

5. Firm Handshakes  

6. General Lee

7. Alive

8. When You Share Brokenness Trust Blossoms

9. Reliving

Short Story and Novel Excerpts Due

Hi folks! You have the hour to do the following:

  • Post your fiction (short story or novel excerpt) on your blog
  • Open Google Classroom and click on the assignment, “SHORT STORY OR NOVEL EXCERPT (Summative Assessment)”
  • Fill out the top half of the rubric, then click “Turn In.”
  • Read other people’s blogs and post comments

Whatever you don’t finish is due by midnight SUNDAY tonight.

Happy writing!


Fiction: Peer-editing

Daily Prompt #23: Writing from a Word


What comes to your mind when you see this word?

Write for five minutes.

Today, you’re going to have your peers help you improve your fiction piece.


All of you will receive a peer editing form. Staple this to the front of your rough draft. If your fiction piece is on an electronic device, make sure the paper travels with it.

The sheet has a front and back side. The front side is for editor #1 and the back side is for editor #2. Have two different students read your fiction piece.

The more serious you take this, the more beneficial it will be.

When you are done, use the time remaining to read the editors’ comments, ask questions, and fine tune your rough drafts.





Fiction: Self-editing

Daily Prompt #22: Catharsis

Write whatever is on your mind right now.

Take five minutes.

Today, the goal is to self-edit your drafts. Keep in mind we will be peer editing tomorrow, so get your short story or novel excerpt in the best shape you can today.

If at all possible, bring a typed copy of your rough draft to class tomorrow. If you can’t, make sure you write legibly.  🙂

Fiction: Figurative and Concrete Language

Daily Prompt #21: Inspired by great writers


What do you think Anton Chekhov means by this? What’s he getting at?

Take five minutes to write your thoughts.


Figurative and concrete language help to make your writing vivid and, ultimately, more interesting. Let’s do some writing exercises to practice!

Figurative Language: language that is different from the literal interpretation. They are figures of speech. Examples would be metaphor, simile, and personification, just to name a few.

Write the following sentence in your notebook.

The girl was sad.

Rewrite this sentence now, using a metaphor.

Now use a simile.

Now use personification.

Now use apostrophe. Bet you do not know this one! It’s when a character speaks to someone who cannot speak back, often an inanimate object. A classic example is the children’s song, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Another example is when Hamlet talks to a dagger he is imagining is in front of him.

See? There are so many ways to describe how this girl is sad. Figurative language can make her sadness more beautiful, more poignant.


Let’s consider concrete language now: language which appeals to all the senses. This type of language helps you show rather than tell in your writing.

Write the following sentence in your notebook:

The boy was happy.

Using all five senses, write a brief paragraph which shows the boy’s happiness.

  • sight
  • sound
  • smell
  • taste
  • touch

I also want to make sure you know how to write dialogue correctly.  Dialogue can be a powerful tool when writing fiction, especially when it sounds authentic.


With the time remaining, continue working on your works of fiction by adding more figurative and concrete language and checking that your dialogue is formatted correctly.

Blog Post #5 (free choice!)

Hi folks!

Today is a day to work on your blogs as well as read your peers’ blogs and post comments.

Remember that you have to post on your blog at least once a week for credit. Be sure to publish something by midnight Sunday.

IMPORTANT: since you have a full week to post something on your blog, blog posts cannot be completed as late work after the due date. Be sure to plan accordingly.

This week’s theme is free choice. Consider typing one of your writer’s notebook entries and sharing what the prompt was. You do not have to include an image this week (although it’s always encouraged).

Have fun and use your time wisely. Once you post something, you should read and comment on your peers’ work. 

Flash Draft Your Rough Draft!

DP #20: What are you excited about?

In regards to the fiction piece you have been preparing for, what are you most excited about?

Write for five minutes. Be prepared to share.


It’s time: time to get the draft done! This can be the hardest step (I know it is for me!) Once you’ve got something though, then you can go back and revise and make it just the way you want. It’s hard to do that when you’ve nothing to start with.

So, use this entire hour to try and write your entire rough draft. You’ll have next week to revise and edit it.

While you’re writing, I’ll continue to conference and check both plot charts and character questionnaires.

Happy writing!

Character Development, Point of View, and Verb Tense

Daily Prompt #24Story Title Ideas

What would be some good ideas for titles for your fiction piece? Make a list of as many as you can.

Write for five minutes.


Today, I want you to start creating well-developed characters for the plot lines you began yesterday and deciding which point of view you want to tell your story from. Finally, you have to decide on a verb tense and make sure you are consistent!

First, let’s review the packet on “Creating Well-Developed Characters” together.


Today, we’re also going to consider point of view when writing our stories.

One way of considering it is by first (I), second (you), and third person (he/she) limited (we read thoughts of only certain characters) and omniscient (all-knowing).

Beyond these, you also have to think about the characters in your story. Sure, you know you want to use first person, but what if you use first person from the perspective of the family cat? Perspective is an integral part of point of view. Your possibilities are truly endless.

There are also advanced techniques such as free indirect style, stream-of-consciousness, and the unreliable narrator. Which will you choose?

As a writer, you have to really consider why you’re writing this story so you know who will be your most impactful storyteller.

Let’s play around with this idea for a bit by starting with a general scenario.

A family is seated around the dinner table.

Mom (Diana): 47
Dad (Robert): 50
Daughter (Carly): 18
Son (Josh) :15
Daughter (Elle): 18 months
Pug (Othello): 10 (56 in dog years)

During dinner, Carly is going to announce she saw Josh kissing a girl at school. The reactions the family has (and how Carly announces it) are entirely up to you.

Each table will be assigned one of the following guidelines. Notice you are being assigned a verb tense as well (past or present).

  • First person, Carly’s perspective. Past tense.
  • Third person limited, Josh’s perspective. Present tense.
  • Third person omniscient. Past tense.
  • First person, Robert’s perspective. Present tense.
  • Third person limited, Elle’s perspective. Past tense.
  • Second person. present.
  • First person, Diana’s perspective. Past tense.

Let’s share a few to hear the difference.


For the remainder of the hour, complete as much of the character questionnaire as you can in your notebooks. Your ideas may change as you continue to develop your story and that’s okay!  The key is to simply start. I also want you to commit to a point of view and verb tense by writing your name on a post-it and putting it on the appropriate board.

I’d like to see your questionnaires when you’re done to give you points and mini conference.

Genres of Fiction and Crafting a Plot

Daily Prompt #18:  Genre Writing

In the context of writing, the word genre is a reference to a type of writing which has unique characteristics in regards to narrative elements such as setting, plot, character, and theme (just to name a few).

Brainstorm as many genres as you can think of and write them in your notebooks. Then, identify the following on your list:

* your favorite genre to READ

* your favorite genre to WRITE

* genres you’ve never read or written

Take five minutes. Be prepared to discuss.


Here is an additional list of genres: 35 Genres


Let’s play around with genre for a bit. Write down the following sentence:

A man walked down the street.


Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a mystery.

Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a sci fi or fantasy.

Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a romance.

Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a comedy.

Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a historical fiction.

Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a mystery.

Rewrite this sentence as the first line of a realistic fiction.


Make a commitment. What genre(s) are you writing in? Just like yesterday, write your name and put it in the appropriate spot on the board.


Now that you know which genre and what kind of fiction (short story, novel excerpt), the next step is to plan out your plot line. This can change as you begin writing, but it can be helpful to have a general idea before you dive in. Use this plot chart to help you plan out your ideas. If you’re doing a novel excerpt, be sure to decide which part of the plot you are going to actually write for this assignment.

Show Mrs. Keskes your chart when you are finished for points and for a mini conference to discuss ideas and ask questions.