Posted by: nancyisanders | April 13, 2015

Chapter Book: Brainstorming Exercise

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Okay, now we have enough material to do an exercise. Not the hike-up-the-hill exercise I’m about to do in this photograph. We’re going to do a fun story-generating brainstorming exercise.

This exercise is similar to the exercise I share in Section 7.1 Fresh and Original in my book, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books. This exercise is guaranteed to help you come up with a fresh and original idea you can choose to write about.

Do you already have an idea for a story for your early chapter book? If so, write it down in one single sentence. Make your sentence look like this:

The MAIN CHARACTER who lives in SETTING does his universal theme.

If you don’t yet have an idea, choose either a boy or a girl for your main character. Choose a general setting such as a town or a city. Choose your universal theme.

Write it all down in a sentence.

The MAIN CHARACTER who lives in SETTING does his universal theme.

For example:

The boy who lives in a town starts his first day of school.

Now, let’s play with this sentence. Our goal is to brainstorm a fresh and original idea to write about in a story.

First, let’s brainstorm a main character that pops and sizzles and can even be commercial.

I like to ask myself questions at this stage of the game.

Instead of just an ordinary main character, what would make my main character fresh and original?

Could he be super smart at something or really good at something?
Like a math whiz or a soccer star or already a popstar musician.

Try plugging in different ideas you have for a main character who’s ultra-talented for a kid in kindergarten through second grade (this is our target age).

Could there be something funny about him?
Like he has the world’s largest collection of toilet paper rolls or he always wins watermelon seed spitting contests?

Try plugging in different ideas you have for a main character with a funny trait.

Could there be something very unique about him?
Like his mom is President of the US and he’s living in the White House or he’s the great-great-great-great-great grandson of William Penn?

Try plugging in different ideas you have for the main character with a unique quirk.

Have fun playing with main character ideas like this! In an upcoming post, we’ll play around with the sentence even more as we brainstorm ideas for a setting that zings.


Responses

  1. Nancy, I’m trying to find the START date for this Chapter Book “exercise.” When is it?


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