From Superkids by Jean Marzollo - Illustrations by Irene Trivas

Many of the activities on these pages may require adult supervision.
Be sure to tell a grown-up about what you're planning and ask for permission before getting started.

Stories that are made up are called "fiction."


Making up stories and writing them down can be so much fun that you may find yourself doing it over and over again. What's particularly enjoyable is using your imagination to say whatever you want to say. The more you write, the better you get, especially if you realize that stories have certain requirements. Filling these requirements takes practice. Whether it be a short story, a novel, a play, or a script for a TV soap opera, a good story needs: interesting characters, a good plot, description of place, and a theme.

Characters characters illustration

Each character should have something to do with the story. If a character seems out of place, cut this person from the story. One character should be the most important. He or she is your main character. Usually the main character changes somehow as a result of the story's action.



Plot is what happens. It's the action. If what happens is boring, your story will be boring. What happens should mainly happen to the main character. Otherwise your story will be confusing.


Description of Place place illustration

Where does your story take place? Describe it. Don't just say "outer space," say what it looks like, feels like, sounds like, and, if necessary, tastes and smells like. Don't overdo description, but include it.



What is your story about? Try to say it in one word: love, hate, death, life, fear, suffering, triumph. If your story isn't about anything, it will lack meaning.

It's not likely that you'll get your characters, plot, description of place, and theme all together the first time you write your story. Be patient. Put your story away for a day or two, then bring it out and reread it with a fresh, open mind. What's missing? Work on it some more.


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Based on the book SUPERKIDS: Creative Learning Activities for Children 5-15
Text © Jean Marzollo, Illustrations © Irene Trivas

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