Can someone help

Chatterbox: Inkwell

Can someone help

Can someone help me out here?  I always come up with little snippets like...

Her hair was blowing in the wind, and her dress rustled gracefully.  She turned her head toward the wind, as if calling to someone or somthing, but she didn't know what.  And yet, she seemed at peace with the world.

I can never turn these thingies into stories.

submitted by Yulan L, age 12, California
(January 28, 2009 - 6:42 pm)

Those are great beginnings, Yulan!


Try and answer questions about every little detail in there. Like: '...her dress rustled gracefully.' Is her dress old? New? If it's old, ask, Is it a hand-me-down? Did she steal it? If it's the latter, ask, Is she a mean thief? Or is she just trying to help? And if it's the latter, ask, Who is she trying to help?


That's just an example, but try it if you want. See where those details take you! Good luck!

submitted by Lena G, age 11
(January 29, 2009 - 8:20 am)

Maybe you could start a round-robin-story.

submitted by Meadow, age 11, IL
(January 29, 2009 - 10:23 am)

I have that same problem a lot. For now, whenever a snippet pops into your head, write it down. You can have a Word document all on little bits and pieces, if you want. In time, a snippet might spark an idea for something bigger, or you'll see a connection between things you've written and turn it into a story. Keep your eyes and ears open for any ideas, and expand, expand, expand your snippets with detail. I also like Lena's idea, you might want to try it. Good luck!


By the way, are you new to Chatterbox? If so, welcome!

submitted by Allison P., age Orlando, F, 12
(January 29, 2009 - 2:56 pm)

Yah, it happens to me all the time.  I usually write them down when I can find a piece of paper, and then when I'm looking for something in a story I'm already working on, or if I'm looking to start a new story, they come in really handy.

I get sooooo frustrated when I think up whole stories in my mind, with tons of detail and a thick plot, and then when I go to write it down, I don't know, it all blows away, or something.  It makes me really sad.

Anyway, good luck, Yulan. (Did I spell that right??)  :) 

submitted by Laura M., age 15, Santa Rosa, Ca
(February 2, 2009 - 9:03 pm)

Make a character web; it will help if you know more about the character that you have created. Find out what she does in her life, where she lives, what she looks like, what her likes and dislikes are, and other details like that. Once you have figured those things out, you can create the setting and the conflict and resolution.

This helps; trust me! :)

submitted by Maddy J., age 12, Maplewood NJ
(January 29, 2009 - 8:45 pm)

Yeah, I tend to do that, too.  For example, right now:

  Raylee's hurried footsteps could scarcely be heard though the roaring of the wind and rain.  It was the in dead of night, and, as far as Raylee knew, the whole of London was asleep, completely aloof to her presence.
  All except one, who was silently watching her from the shadows, biding his time.
The Sydney story started like that, too, but with all you guys' help, it's taking shape (mind you, a very confused one . . . *grins*).  I found that doing a Round-Robin story really helps! :):)  
  P.S.:  If you want, you can turn that there snippit into a Round-Robin thing. :):) 
submitted by BellaTrix ✌ ♡
(January 30, 2009 - 12:12 pm)

I can relate to that, sort of.  I start my stories with just regular day things and make them into some kind of mystery.  Maybe this could be it.

And yet, she seemed at peace with the world.  All the friends she could ever ask for, yet nothing could help her answer this question: What is wrong?

submitted by Leah G., age 12`, Saline, MI
(February 2, 2009 - 8:57 pm)

Yulan, that snippet right there, is one of the most descriptive sentences I have ever heard.  Keep up the good work!  I can totally relate to your problem.  What I do is I save them anyway I can and after I've gathered a lot, I mash them all together and form a story.  Hope you do turn your snippets to stories.Smile

submitted by Phoenix, Ember
(February 5, 2009 - 9:12 pm)

Yulan, that's a beautiful paragraph. I wish I could give you the scholarly, professional advice everybody else is offering. But I;ve only got one weird thing to say: give "her" a name.

Once someone's got a name, they become a real character. And once you have the name, the name opens up a million other possibilities. For instance... take the name Arielle. I generally think of a slender, graceful girl with a few mysterious secrets. Or maybe you know someone named Arielle... say, your best friend or your aunt of even your dog. And then you might takethe characteristics of the best friend (parents going through a divorce?) or the aunt (young, lenient, fun-loving freelance writer?) or even the dog (going through a harsh case of cancer?) and you turn it into Arielle with her graceful dress, except maybe that will become the END of an inspiring Sadako-like tale in which the girl Arielle (modeled after your dog? who has cancer?) struggles with lung cancer or something and that "at peace with the World" scene could become her death scene? Or if that's too depressing for you, than Arielle can be a young college student aspiring to become a writer, but then something happens and that becomes the storyline. Maybe she's calling to her inner self. And if that's too corny, then she could be a twelve-year-old girl like yourself who's having some familal problems. Or the girl isn't even Arielle. Maybe she's Rachel, or Dianna, or Kaya. Completely your choice.

Good luck!

submitted by Mary W., age 11, Bordentown, NJ
(February 6, 2009 - 1:55 pm)