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Have you wanted to write a story but didn’t know how? Here’s a simple way to get started.

1. CHARACTER - Give your character a name.

2. DESIRE - Invent what your character wants DESPERATELY. It needs to be something he or she wants RIGHT NOW, not like wanting to grow up to be a rock star.

3. OBSTACLE - Make up a reason why your character can’t get what he or she wants.

4. SOLUTION - Figure out how your character overcomes the obstacle and reaches his or her goal.

Here are a couple of examples:

Taylor loves dragons. She’s wanted one all her life. A neighbor’s dragon just had two babies. After seeing the cutest, squirming little dragons, she can’t go another day without holding one of her own.

But her parents say no. Dragons are expensive to feed and take care of. They require a lot of care: flying several times a day, regular feeding, lots of love, and training. Her parents are busy running their bakery and do not have the time or the money.

Taylor is crushed, but she won’t give up. She reads book on how to care for and train dragons and how much it costs. During the holidays or when the bakery has special events to bake for, her parents hire extra clean up help.

She draws up a schedule of how she will feed, fly, train, and take care of a dragon. She shows it to her parents and offers to clean up the bakery. The money they would save by not having to pay an employee would pay for the food and care of a dragon. Her parents are impressed and agree to let her have a baby dragon.

Jordan’s parents have been divorced for two years, and he hasn’t seen his dad since. His dad manages a small inn in France, and Jordan lives in Maine. He needs to talk to his dad and ask him man questions, the kinds of questions his mom can’t answer. He and his dad talk on the phone, but Jordan wants to see him face to face.

His mom works hard as a furniture saleswoman, but she can’t afford to send Jordan to France. His dad doesn’t have the money, either. Jordan can’t go any longer without seeing him.

Jordan is willing to work, but no one will hire a thirteen-year-old. He buys a couple of lottery tickets, but he might as well have set the dollar bills on fire because he doesn’t win. He stands in the middle of a forest and calls for Superman to fly him across the Atlantic Ocean. Instead of the man of steel, a large turtle and a paddle appears. Jordan hops on the turtle and paddles across the ocean to his father. (It’s your story. You can write whatever you want.) * This story was contributed by a sixth grader.

You can add other characters, write colorful descriptions of people and places, or give your character more obstacles. The list is endless. Once you’ve mastered this part, stayed tuned for my next blog to enhance your writing. Writing fiction is so much fun!