Ways to discover narrative topics
As I said in the Topics introduction, every writer has to work at finding good topics. I work hard at helping my students own this very important first step to successful writing. Here are suggestions my students discovered over the course of a couple weeks.:
What we’ve learned so far about finding topics.
- Retell a story you heard or read.
- Tell stories.
- Read a book or poem.
- Use the same structure of a story or poem.
- Freewrite. Circle topics.
- Update your Writing Territories.
- Keep a topic page.
- Draw a picture.
- Use a picture as a starting place.
- Ask others what they’re writing about.
Other ideas you can use over and over!
- Describe the weather. Watch a storm roll in. Watch the rain. Describe what it feels and smells like.
- Collect settings. Where might a story take place? Describe a house or apartment that you might use in a story.
- Collect people. Describe interesting people you see out your window or at the grocery store. Write down everything about them – what they’re wearing, how tall, shoes, hair color, hair style, how they move and talk…
- Write down interesting things that happened to you during the day. Try to write it down in an entertaining way.
- Write down what you heard happened to other people or stories you heard people say.
- Wonder about things. Write down what you’re wondering about.
- Think of the things you did during the day that had action. Try to explain the action completely. (How did you throw the football, rollerblade, ride a bike, get off a bus, step into the car, open the door, unpack your bookbag, get a snack, OR trip on your brother’s toy…???)
- Describe how a person looks when they’re in a mood. (What do you look like when you’re mad, nervous, excited, happy, sad, embarrassed, overjoyed, OR scared?)
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