Tag Archives: Creative Writing

‘Wrong Channel’

20 Jan

I happened upon ‘Wrong Channel‘, a short story by Roberto Fernandez.  This very short narrative centres upon an error of interpretation.

This would be an interesting narrative to use with students as an example of humour and effective dialogue.

It would also be valuable as a writing prompt, encouraging students to speculate as to what happens next in the narrative.


‘There Was Once’

19 Jan

I recently read an interesting short story by Margaret Atwood entitled ‘There Was Once‘.  In this story the speaker attempts to recount a traditional fairy tale, only to be interrupted by the listener who notes all the politically incorrect elements of the story.

I think this would be an interesting narrative to share with students for a number of reasons:

  • It offers an alternate narrative style
  • It engages with social commentary
  • It offers strong perspectives and voices
  • It offers students permission to think and write outside established categories and stereotypes.

Show rather than tell

26 Aug

We constantly tell our students that, when writing, they must show rather than tell.  I have finally found the perfect video to explain what that looks like!

I want to show this clip to my students, offering them opportunities to find examples of ‘showing’ in a range of short story extracts.  I then want to provide them with examples of ‘telling’ (ideally from earlier drafts of their own writing) and have them transform the ‘telling’ into ‘showing’.

Building Fictional Worlds

20 Aug

I recently stumbled upon Kate Messner’s clip about building fictional worlds.  In this clip she discusses fictional worlds created by others and shares the questions she asks when, as part of her writing process, she builds her own fictional worlds.

I think this would be a useful clip to show my students as it would give them a starting point for their own narratives.

Describe that image!

3 Aug

Sometimes students find it difficult to understand the value of description and imagery as distinct from recount.  To assist them, I want to provide my students with a collection of images/pictures and a selection of descriptions.  Students will then work in small groups to match the images and the descriptions.  I also hope to discuss with my students what aided them to match descriptions to pictures.  Hopefully, through this discussion, students come to the conclusion that descriptions and imagery are valuable because they create vivid pictures in the minds of readers.

Friday Fictioneers: ‘Mask’

12 Jun

As she does each week, Rochelle has issued the Friday Fictioneers community a challenge to write a 100 word story in response to a provided photo prompt.  This time, the prompt is a repeat.  I quite liked the story I wrote the first time, and think my second attempt is stilted and lacks the creativity of the first.  That said, I did enjoy the challenge of having to think about the prompt from a different perspective.


She left me with her children.  Them and me.  For three hours.

We’d talked about this moment, but then it had been hypothetical.

Now, it was real.

What if they don’t like me?  They had to like me – HAD TO – I really like their mum.

I approach them, a nervous grin gracing my weather-worn face.

They stare, unsure.  Then, they consult.

Mia appoints herself spokeswoman: “We don’t like you. Go away.”

I do.

I grab the mask from the box at the top of the wardrobe and wrangle it over my face.

I return.


“Scuba Sam,” I reply.

Friday Fictioneers: ‘Separation’

2 Jun

I thought I would get in early this week.  As per usual, all 100 word stories are written in response to the visual stimulus provided on Rochelle’s blog.  My contribution for this week is below.


After we purchased the land, I began designing our house: a kitchen to accommodate messy family breakfasts, a living room with a sofa on which we could snuggle.

Around this time, he began setting out plans for his shed, a man-cave in which he could escape the dramas of domesticity.

The marriage was rocky and, several years and children later, we treated each other with stony indifference.


In the divorce he was granted the shed at the bottom of the garden.

He lives there now.  Alone.  Away from the drama.  Away from his children.  Missing out on their lives.


Friday Fictioneers: ‘Walking the Black Dog’

29 May

It is Friday Fictioneer time again!  As per usual, bloggers are tasked with creating a 100 word story in response to a photo prompt provided by Rochelle on her blog.  My contribution is below.

‘Walking the Black Dog’

Her dog liked to walk near the cliffs.

The sodden, shiny rocks beyond the fence excited him, and he greeted each with enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm that was contagious.  More often than not she followed him, beyond the barricade, her bare feet maintaining a tenuous grip on the slippery, sleeping hunks of stone.

These night-time walks became frequent and, under the cloak of darkness, her inhibitions were dulled.   When nudged by the dog, his muzzle on her shin, she




into the water and was swallowed by the waves.

They searched, but found only her black dog amongst the stones.

Friday Fictioneers: ‘Benched’

22 May

It is Friday Fictioneers time again!  As per usual, the task is to write a one hundred word story in response to a photo stimulus posted by Rochelle to her blog.


The captains sized up the students, strategized and sought to secure success.

They called names quickly, like music building to a crescendo.  Choices predictable as a metronome.

Hugs, high fives, and humungous grins abounded.

Then, the pace slowed.  Options were reduced, but spots needed to be filled.  Names were tentatively articulated, quieter, less sure, as captains reached for the best of a bad bunch.

Three students left.  An uneven number.

An intense conversation.

Then, a name.  Mine.

A smile.  Mine.

Hope.  Mine.

A hand outstretched.  A welcome?

No. A redirection.

To the bench.

Once again.

Maybe next time?

Probably not.


Friday Fictioneers: ‘Out of this World’

17 May

It is Friday Fictioneers time!  Each week, bloggers are challenged to produce 100 word stories in response to a photo prompt posted by Rochelle.

‘Out of this World’

When citizens first saw the plans, the architects were labelled lunatics and the structure ridiculed as a spaceship.

Existing buildings were razed.  The site was levelled.

Concerns were raised.  Level heads prevailed.

The project took off.

Our imaginations followed suit.

We imagined foreign lifeforms – strong, ready to dominate – performing superhuman feats.

Seven years later, nations descended upon the structure.  Their members flexed muscles and squared shoulders.  They jumped to meteoric heights and ran as if pursued by rockets.

Adults soaked up the sport.

Kids sat mesmerised by their youthful imaginings playing out in the spaceship they’d watched being built.