Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Middle School or High School Story Starters (Guest Blog)

Middle School or High School Story Starters
by Sandra Durham 

     The following are the beginnings of three different stories.  (These story starters are appropriate for older middle or high school students.)

     One could be based in real time.
     One could be supernatural.
     One could be set in ancient times or in a sci-fi future. 

     Choose one of these story starters and finish the chapter of the story.

     Suggestion:  Start with an outline of the questions that come to mind as you read the starter, making a list of the known facts you are given, and base your story around these questions and facts.

     There is no wrong way to write these stories.

     Follow the grammar and punctuation guidelines set by your teacher.  Get creative and have fun!

Story Starter #1
     It was a dark and stormy night.  Too dark to finish the supper dishes without the generator working. (And, as usual, I had forgotten to replenish the fuel.)  The old dog refused to go out in the rain to do his business which meant he'd be begging to go out at about 4 a.m.  And I still hadn't finished my homework.  Yessir, I said to myself, here I am six months from retirement and 80 miles from the nearest school and I had homework.  But, then, that's what made it interesting.  Now, if I could just make it appear like that on paper.
     I'd always loved stories, or at least listening to other people's stories.  Putting them down on paper for someone else to read, that's another thing altogether.  What if they don't read it exactly right, or emphasize the wrong words, or just flat misunderstand.  There's a lot of difference between reading and listening.  So, I was taking this writing course and I had homework.
     Just listen to that wind, now. Whistlin' up a storm.  The shutters I hadn't gotten around to fixin' would be keepin' me up all night.  That was okay.  I had no place to be tomorrow.  Little did I know it would be a long time before I went anywhere at all.

Story Starter #2
     It was a rank smell.  But I didn't find out until months later that a body had been found in the house.  Found because of the smell.  You really didn't notice it until the searing, humid days of later summer brought it boiling up out of the floor boards and carried it out to wander up and down the narrow street.
     The people walked quickly by the house, quickly but quietly.  They seemed to be holding their breath.  Not so much because of the smell but rather to keep from inhaling a restless spirit.

Story Starter #3
     Through the swirls of color and pain, she sensed a presence but was unable to determine if it was good or evil.  Coming back to the light was almost more painful that it was profitable.
     "Who are you?" she whispered, needing to feel safe though she still could not see, much less defend herself.
     "I am here to protect you, child," said a voice strong but gentle, deeply masculine but not threatening.
     "Why do I need protecting?" asked the girl, stopping her struggle toward full consciousness, still not opening her eyes.  It was tempting to slide back into oblivion if there was someone else here to remain awake for her.
     "Come, child.  You are not yourself or you wouldn't ask such, nor linger so in rising."

*Guest Blog--This is a from a series written by our guest blogger Sandra Durham.  Feel free to use this selection with your students.

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