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.  🙂

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.

Short Story or Novel Excerpt – what will you choose?

Daily Prompt #17: Lifting a Line

Take a line you highlighted or underlined or starred in your notebooks from a couple of weeks ago. Make it the first line of a new piece and begin adding on to it.

Take five minutes.


Today, you’re going to make a decision: short story or novel excerpt? Let’s look at some samples to help you make a decision.


Next, let’s look at the rubric so you understand what your fiction needs to make it a good read!  🙂


Before you leave, you have to make a commitment: short story or novel excerpt. Write your name down on a post-it note and stick it in the appropriate column on the board.



Flash Fiction: Day Four

Daily Prompt #16: Inspired by an Image

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Write for ten minutes on what the story is behind this picture.

Today is our last day working directly with flash fiction. We’re going to consolidate these strategies and use each other’s writing for inspiration.

Step One: write a six-word story OR two-sentence story (your choice) on an index card. Include your name. Include your name.

Step Two: turn your index card in to me.


Step Three: I will redistribute the cards so everyone gets a new one. Read it, then write a 50-word story inspired by it in your notebook first.

Step Four: once you are happy with the draft in your notebook, transfer it to the back of the index card. Include your name.

Step Five: turn in the index card so you can return it .


Step Six: Now let’s pass them around the room and silently read them. If you come across one you really like, feel free to take a picture of it or write it down. Don’t forget to write down the name of the person who wrote it!


Flash Fiction: Day Three

Daily Prompt #19: A Given Scenario

Let’s use this plot generator to give us a scenario to write about. This is a great site when you’re struggling for ideas, but feel the need to write!

For ten minutes, start writing a short story using this scenario.

Before we move on, let’s share some of our writing inspired by yesterday’s two-sentence stories.

Today, we’re going to try our hand at 50-word stories. Let’s look at some samples to get a sense of how long that really is.

The key to writing a 50-word story is this: write about a brief moment in time, and don’t worry about the word count. Once you’re done, go back and edit until you get to 50-words. This activity teaches you to discipline yourself as a writer, including only the words which matter most.

Find a partner and write a 50-word story together. We’ll be sharing a few with the class. 

Need help with an idea? Use the plot generator, or any of your flash fiction from this week!




Class Chain Story

Daily Prompt #51: Create-a-scenario (given setting)

Create a scenario which takes place in the following setting:

  • Present day, interior of the school cafeteria, Friday night, 11pm

Take ten minutes.


We’re going to have some creating chain stories as a class.

Let’s get in one big circle.

Now, everyone, start by writing a title for your story in your notebooks (you each will have your own).

Pass your notebook to the left. Read the title of the new notebook in your hand, then begin writing.

Whenever I say, “Pass!” you should pass to the left.

By the end of the activity, you will each get your notebooks back, complete with a story created by the class.


Blog Post #6 Due: Flash Fiction

Hi folks!

Here is your to-do list for today:

  1. Post some flash fiction on your blog.
  2. Read your peers’ blogs and post comments. You should read at least five other peers’ blogs.
  3. Post your flash fiction on our Creative Writing Padlet! This will serve as a brainstorming space for all students in our creative writing classes. Check it out as you think of your ideas for your novels!

Happy reading and writing!


Fiction: Dialogue

Daily Prompt #29: How many ways can you rewrite a sentence?

Take a sentence from the rough draft of your fiction piece and rewrite it at the top of this entry.

NOW, rewrite this sentence five times in five different ways.  You can add words, delete words, or take an entirely new angle.  The key is to start recognizing how much time you can spend crafting the perfect sentence.

Be prepared to share with your peers.


Let’s take a look at the fiction rubric on Google Classroom so you know exactly how you will be graded.


Today, I 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 rough drafts. Tomorrow will be your last day in class to work on them.


Also, are you participating in NaPoWriMo.?

This is the place to let us know you’re participating: I’m participating!

Happy writing!



Fiction and Verb Tense

Daily Prompt #26: Verb Tense

Take one of your six-word stories (or a sentence from the fiction piece you’re currently working on) and rewrite it the following ways:

*present tense

*past tense

*future tense

Which do you prefer for this story and why?

Take five minutes.

Verb tense is pretty important for a story. For most, you’ll choose past or present tense, but you have to consider what makes the most sense for your story. What feels right? Most important of all, are you staying consistent? The second you start shifting tenses, you lose your reader.

As you work on your fiction pieces today, jot down answers to the following in your notebook alongside the rough draft you’re crafting:

What genre(s) am I writing in? What should I include in my story because of this?

Does my story fit within the roller coaster plot or the hero’s journey? Are there stages missing I want to include?

What point of view am I writing in? From which character’s perspective?

What verb tense am I writing in?

Use this class period to get as much of a rough draft done as possible.

Happy writing!

Creating Characters

Daily Prompt #24Story Title Ideas

Using the title generator above, write a piece of flash fiction for the title generated.

Write for five minutes.

Today, I want you to start creating well-developed characters for the plot lines you began yesterday.

Let’s review the packet on “Creating Well-Developed Characters” together.

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.

You need to decide on your plot for your short story or novel excerpt by the end of the class today so you don’t get behind. If you’re still stuck on plot ideas, select one of your flash fiction pieces from last week to expand upon.

Happy writing!