Mr. Patterson's Blog

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Prep work for Prompt 3

Today I want you to prepare a contribution to our next writing prompt. Just like last term, you’re going to invent one. Since theses are short story prompts, they all start with the same directive: WRITE A SHORT STORY. We then set out a series of guidelines for that story. I’m going to as you to provide 3.

  1. Where: What is the setting of your story?
  2. Who: Who are the most important characters?
  3. What: An important detail of the story. This could be a goal or event or how the story must end or any other limitation you can think of. Just make sure it’s a story limitation. (i.e. Nothing like ‘no letter e’ or ‘write in alphabetical order. To give you an idea of what I’m looking for, here are a few examples from last year:
  • Where:                    Hawaii
  • Who:                       Two people in a relationship
  • What:                      A talking animal


  • Where:                    Inside an abandoned amusement park
  • Who:                       Identical twins
  • What:                      A room of mirrors


  • Where:                    A theme park
  • Who:                       The personification of at least one of the seven deadly sins
  • What:                      Someone falls in love with someone they can’t have


  • Where:                    A cardboard box factory
  • Who:                       One child (at least)
  • What:                      There must be a) a sudden death and b) Mac and Cheese


  • Where:                    The South Pole
  • Who:                       A triceratops and his loyal partner
  • What:                      Trying to save the world


  • Where:                    On a boat in the middle of a storm going to Alcatraz
  • Who:                       Cops and criminals
  • What:                      One of the other group members dies

After that we looked at a few short story writing tips from authors who’ve had great success doing it:

John Dufresne: The Muse comes to the desk

Kurt Vonnegut: 8 Tips of short story writing

Neil Gaiman: Advice for Writers


Author: pattersonmalvern

I am a teacher at Malvern Collegiate Institute. This is a blog to help students keep track of their work.

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