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Short Story Writing Packet

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Short Story Writing Packet
Calvin and Hobbes
Name: _______________________________________________
Period: __________
TEKS: (14) Writing/Literary Texts. Students write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or
imagined people, events, and ideas. Students are responsible for at least two forms of literary writing. Students are
expected to:
(A) write an engaging story with a well-developed conflict and resolution, interesting and believable characters, and a
range of literary strategies (e.g., dialogue, suspense) and devices to enhance the plot;
Choose a Writing Prompt
Directions: Read below the following short story writing prompts. After
carefully reading each prompt, circle the writing prompt you would like to
write about.
1. Write a short story about someone experiencing a
success.
2. Write a short story about someone experiencing a
surprise.
3. Write a short story about someone who gets lost.
2
Pre-Writing
Directions: Before writing a rough draft, a good strategy that writers do is brainstorm
possible ideas related to their writing topic. For example, if the topic you’re writing about
is a success, a writer might brainstorm 3-4 situations in which a person might experience
a success – like a spelling bee or a football championship. By coming up with multiple
ideas a writer will have an easier time choosing a situation to write about.
With that said, in the circle below write the key word of the writing prompt you chose.
For instance, if you chose the writing prompt about a surprise write SURPRISE in the
circle below. Then, brainstorm FOUR possible ideas that you might want to write about.
Choose the idea you want to write about by drawing a star next to it.
3
Short Story Prewriting Continued…
Directions: Write your answers to each of the following questions, using as much
detail as possible. You’ll use the information here as you write your short story, so
nearly everything you write can be used again!
1. Characters
a. Who or what is the main character?
b. What is the name of the main character?
c. What does he/she or it look like?
d. How old is he/she or it?
e. How does he/she or it get along with peers? Adults?
f. What events in his/her or its life led him/her to the main event in the
story?
g. Who are some of the other characters? How do they relate to the main
character?
h. Which point-of-view will your story be told from?
2. Setting
a. Where does the story take place?
b. What does this place look like?
c. What does this place mean to the main character?
d. Why does the action in the story take place here?
3. Conflict
a. What does the main character want?
b. How does he/she try to get what he/she wants? (be specific—sequence
of events)
c. How do his/her actions affect the other characters?
d. How does he/she change because of his/her actions?
4
Short Story Leads: Hooking the Reader
Directions: There are many ways a writer can begin a story. Below, are the
most common two. Choose between option #1 and option #2 (or talk to me
if you have another idea!) and then draw a star next to your choice. The
option you choose will be the way you begin your short story.
#1 Begin a story in the middle of a conversation:
“If you don’t put that away right now, you and I are gonna have
problems,” Carla snarled as Janet scribbled in her writer’s notebook. Janet
stared at her round face, squinting eyes, and muscular arms crossed in front
of her chest for just a second, snarled right back at her, and continued to
write furiously. All the other students around the playground were quiet.
“Just who do you think you are?” Mrs. Fleming asked as April slammed her
notebook on the desk.
#2 Begin with a description:
Millie’s face turned red when she entered the room. Stapled on the
walls all around were pictures of her. There she was holding the first place
trophy high above her head after her team won the state basketball
tournament. Above the dresser was a poster-size photograph of her eighth
grade graduation; she was standing proudly at the podium delivering her
class president’s speech. To the left of the door was a collage of all her
school pictures dating back to first grade, her gap-toothed smile framed by
her dark face and tangled brown hair.
5
Things Your Short Story Must Have
Directions: Before writing your rough draft, remember that the following
elements must also be included in your short story:
 setting details woven into the text
 development of at least one character through the
character’s words, thoughts, and actions and through
the words of other characters and/or the writer
 a problem/conflict which is developed as the story
(plot) progresses
 a resolution of that problem/conflict (climax)
 a conclusion (what happens after climax)
 snapshots (things for the reader to visualize)


thoughtshots (characters’ thoughts)
dialogue
6
Rough Draft
Directions: Begin writing your first draft of your short story with a focus on the idea you
brainstormed on the page before.
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7
Revision – “Snapshot”
Directions: A snapshot is one way a writer can develop an idea in a piece of writing. It is
showing the reader a “photograph” of the scene. It involves the writer taking time to
show the picture through sensory details, concrete words, and poetic language (similes,
for example). Good writing creates “snapshots” for the reader through sensory details.
Return to your rough draft and draw a star next to ONE area that is in need of a snapshot.
Copy the original sentence or passage below.
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Now, with the emphasis on sensory detail (The FIVE senses – sight, taste, smell, sound,
and touch) enhance the original sentence or passage by re-writing it below.
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*Remember to include this “snapshot” when writing your second draft.
8
Revision – “Thoughtshot”
Directions: A thoughtshot is a concrete way to reveal to the reader what a character is
thinking. It can be an important way to reveal personality, motivation, and even
information to the reader. It serves to make the actors in a story or personal narrative
realistic by showing what they are thinking. It is yet another way to “show, don’t tell.”
Return to your rough draft a draw a thought-bubble next to an area that needs a
thoughtshot. Find a place in your short story where you can enhance what your main
character is thinking or feeling. Copy the original sentence or passage below.
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Now, enhance this sentence or passage by including a thoughtshot. Don’t tell the reader
what your character is thinking, but show through words and actions.
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*Remember to include your thoughtshot revision in your second draft.
9
Second Draft
Directions: Re-write your rough draft by including your newly written snapshot and
thoughtshot.
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10
Editing – “Question Flood”
Activity One
Directions: Editing is one of the final phases in the writing process. Peer
editing is a helpful process because it allows another person the opportunity
to uncover errors often overlooked by the writer.
With a partner, exchange short stories and read each other’s second draft.
With a pencil or pen in hand, read the short story keeping the following
questions in mind:
Who?
What?
Where?
When?
Why?
How?
Whenever these questions surface in the reading write your question next to
the area of confusion. Make sure your questions are specific, so that the
writer has an opportunity to address the issue and correct the error. Also,
look for noticeable errors in spelling, sentence structure, or any other errors
you might uncover.
Activity Two
When finished return the short story to the writer. Review the questions
written by your editor and enhance your story by addressing these questions.
This might require you to include additional information or details left out
while writing your second draft.
*When complete, write your final draft of your short story on the next page.
Make sure your final draft is written legibly and represents your best work.
11
Final Draft
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