Tag Archives: adventure

Writing Prompt: How to Choose Your Own (Writing) Adventure

When I was a kid, I loved reading Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novels that had alternate paths written into the story. If you aren’t familiar with them, they were elementary or middle grade chapter books that begin a story and at key moments, offer the reader a choice: “To go through the portal, turn to page 37. To run away, turn to page 45.”

I loved seeing the story change with the choices, and I reread the books making different choices each time to experience a new story. I’ve channeled my inner adventurer to put together a fun writing prompt.

The Choose Your Own Adventure Writing Prompt

Today, I have a writing exercise that puts some choices in your hands. Have fun with it. If you get stuck, go back and swap out one of the elements and try again. The joy is in the journey, not in the destination (although a finished story is an accomplishment, too).

To build your own writing prompt, begin by making choices from categories. I teach my students to write a simple premise before they begin writing a draft, even if they haven’t outlined before. Here are the key components, and they should look familiar if you’ve been following Sarah’s great series on writing and publishing a short story:

A character {usually with a problem}
wants {goal}
But {obstacle / conflict / complication}
So {action he or she takes to overcome obstacle to get goal}

Build Your Writing Prompt

Now, here are the choices. Choose one thing from each category and make your character act to get what he or she wants!

Characters

Choose one and decide whether you want them to be a hero or anti-hero. (A too-reductive hint: hero — admirable; anti-hero — not so admirable.)

  • A sailor
  • A bartender
  • A teacher
  • A musician

Goals

  • To contact an old friend / partner / lover
  • To become anonymous
  • To avoid arrest / detection
  • To accept an inheritance

Obstacles

  • A flat tire or bus / car malfunction
  • Missed an important meeting or rendezvous
  • Exposed secret or miscommunication
  • Attacked by villain / bees / bears / barracudas

Action

No choices here; let the action follow the other choices you made!

Two Sample Writing Prompts

I’ve put these elements together to show you what a premise might look like. Try these out for size:

Sample prompt premise: A bartender wants to become anonymous but her ex-boyfriend exposes her real name, so she quits / seeks revenge / runs off to . . .

Swap it out: A hometown hero bartender wants to avoid arrest after he’s caught in a drunken brawl, but he accidentally overhears his boss on the phone reporting him. He . . .

As you can see, there’s incredible variety to be found even in these short lists of characters, goals, and obstacles. You’ll likely come up with something completely different. And even if the elements you choose are the same as mine, the actions that follow will make your story unique.

Sometimes working from a few choices gets the creative juices flowing. Where will your Choose Your Own Adventure writing prompt take you?

What’s your favorite combination of the elements above? Share in the comments.

By Sue Weems
Source: thewritepractice.com

Visit us at First Edition Design Publishing

Mr. Woolly and Friends #FED_ebooks #ebook #author #childrensbook

First Edition Design Publishing

Mr. Woolly and Friends in How the Barn Was Painted Purple

Mr. Woolly and Friends in How the Barn Was Painted Purple is a charming, whimsical children’s book by Lisa A. Dabrowski.

First Edition Design Publishing

Author Lisa A. Dabrowski

Mr. Woolly is a curious little sheep who loves to learn! Sometimes his curiosity gets the better of him and he finds himself in another adventure with his barnyard friends as they discover life on the farm. Author Lisa A. Dabrowski’s First Edition Design Publishinghand-crafted characters and photographs bring this wonderful children’s book to life. Suggested for ages 6 – 8., you can visit “Mr. Woolly and Friends” online at www.mrwoollyandfriends.com

Lisa A. Dabrowski, a grassroots, multi-talented artist, with a passion for nature, music, and storytelling, has raised animals throughout her life. In 1992, the real-life “Easter” and “Friday” were born. Along with Lisa’s other menagerie members, they have been the inspiration for characters in this book. For a number of years, Lisa, as “Bo Peep”, accompanied by “Easter”, would make appearances at the local country fair and other community events and entertained children. More recently, Lisa, in honoring her own family’s duck farming heritage, along with her pet duck, “Roxy”, have delighted crowds by bringing to life a part of Long Island, New York’s agricultural history. For “Mr. Woolly and Friends”, Lisa hand-crafted all the characters and set pieces, then photographed them in a way that would show their unique personalities.

Mr. Woolly and Friends in How the Barn Was Painted Purple by Lisa A. Dabrowski, ISBN 9781937520854, was published April 11, 2012 in eBook format by First Edition Design Publishing in Sarasota, Florida USA. It is available at Amazon’s Kindle store,  Barnes & Noble Book Nook  and other on-line retailers. In addition to those outlets,  Mr. Woolly and Friends in How the Barn Was Painted Purple was distributed in eBook format worldwide by First Edition Design Publishing to over 100,000 locations including libraries, schools colleges, universities.

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New Zealand Book Award Finalist Published by First Edition Design Publishing #ebook #author #FED_ebooks #writer #publishing

Stassen the Hero of Odyss by New Zealand author Jean White released by First Edition Design Publishing.

First Edition Design Publishing

Stassen the Hero of Odyss

Stassen the Hero of Odyss is about a twelve-year- old boy growing up in the Middle Ages. It was a finalist in the 2011 Tom Fitzgibbons Book Awards. Helen Weller of Access Press said, “This is a very well written story about a period which has been rather overlooked by writers of children’s literature. The style is easy and the story factual and at the same time, interesting to a young reader.”

“We welcome Jean White to our international list of accomplished authors,”  First Edition Design Publishing’s Marketing Director, Tom Gahan said. “Working with authors from New York to New Zealand and submitting their books to over 100,000 distribution points world-wide shows our effective global reach.”

Stassen the Hero of Odyss ISBN 9781937520687 is available in ebook form through the Amazon Kindle store, Barnes and Noble, Apple’s iBookstore, Sony, and thousands of other on-line retailers around the world.

First Edition Design Publishing www.firsteditiondesignpublishing.com based in Sarasota, Florida, USA leads the industry in eBook distribution.  They convert, format and submit eBooks to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Android, EBSCO, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, scores of additional on-line retailers and libraries, schools, colleges and universities. Their reach is to over 100,000 distribution points in more than 100 countries.  The company also has a POD (Print On Demand) division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network.

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Fott’s Journey by Geoffrey Veit now available as eBook from First Edition Design Publishing #ebook #author #childrensbook

First Edition Design Publishing

Fott's Journey available in eBook from First Edition Design Publishing

Fott’s Journey by Geoffrey Veit is a family experience. It can be enjoyed in one single reading or segmented over multiple days. The story includes life lessons of positive thinking, loyalty, true friendship and adventure.  Each reading serves as an inspiration of togetherness for the narrator/reader and the child. Imagine the excitement for a child as the story un-ravels and they experience the amazing illustrations.  Available soon at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple’s iBookstore and more. ISBN 9781937520618

First Edition Design Publishing, based in Sarasota, Florida, USA leads the industry in eBook distribution. They convert, format and submit eBooks to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, scores of additional on-line retailers and libraries, schools, colleges and universities. Their reach is to over 100,000 distribution points in more than 100 countries. The company also has a POD (Print On Demand) division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network.