For writers under 12

Using this photo as a visual prompt, begin your story today! You may use photos or drawings to complement your story. To begin, think about these things:

Your main character

Exposition (setting)

Your main conflict

What could secondary conflicts be?

What is the main action?

What could your resolution be?

Is there a possible title?

Is there a possible theme?

Below is just one example of an exposition, a way to get started (written by a young reader/writer in fourth grade)…


Such a sunny day it was in Salem, and the town had a festival each year.

There was a little girl who always wanted to go and have fun, but she remembered she was in school, and the festival was on Wednesday. She also remembered that she had a lot of homework to do. Get it together, Addie; you’ll still have time to go to the fair! she thought.

After school, Addie hurried home.

At home, Addie put her homework on her desk, took out a pencil, and started her math. After finishing most of her homework, she started to daydream. What would it be like if everything were WAY BETTER?

She would wake up, eat her breakfast, and hurry to school. When she would arrive, she’d put her homework on the table, knowing she would fail again, but something new would happen: The teacher would call her to the table, and Addie would be surprised when the teacher said she got 100% on her homework, better than any other time in third grade. The teacher (Mrs. Ellen) would put a little slip in Addie’s backpack as she went home. When she got home, Addie would open her backpack and see a golden slip that said ONE TICKET TO THE SALEM FAIR; REDEEM ONCE ONLY.

Addie couldn’t believe it! She had, right in her hands, a ticket to the Salem fair!  Before Addie could dream more, her sister Mary came in, nudged her awake and asked her one simple thing. “What’s wrong?”



“Ugh, fine. I had a dream of me almost going to the fair, UNTIL YOU CAME AND WOKE ME UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Uh- huh, so you want to go to the uh fair eh?’’


“Well let’s see, I think I can get you to the fair,” Mary said.

The next day, Addie and Mary snuck out of school early. Addie argued  about that, and her sister told her that after they went to the fair, they would get home in time. Addie thought they would get caught and put into detention, but I knew that other kids would be going too. We could blend in! 

Once we got to the fair, I grabbed Addie’s hand and took her to a corner. “ Look, only thirty minuets, okay?”

“Okay, but can we please get some of Apple fritter?”

“NO!” I said. “I don’t want you eating all that junk food.”

And just like that we walked to the entrance. I sighed.                         

Maybe we might get into trouble. I thought. I sighed again, walking into the big fair yard. Once I got there, I could smell apple fritter, ice cream, cotton candy and my favorite CARAMEL APPLE! As I passed booths I could see people cheering for friends who had won stuffed animals and other prizes. I smiled at all the happiness in this little place. They also sold clay pots, artifacts and jewelry. Some people were playing music too!


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