Brainstorming in the Treehouse

Today, way up in the treehouse at a tiny picnic table, I got to spend one of my first brainstorming sessions with my younger sisters for their NaNoWriMo projects.

I listened to their ideas, gave my advice on a few gingerbread people’s names, and then it was time to talk about story plot.

I skipped the whole fancy three-act-four-plot-point-inciting-event-and-climax explanation since they’ll probably be writing shorter stories (and I’m no good at explaining it), and cut to the chase.

Every story has at least one problem and its solution. That’s what makes conflict, right? I encouraged them to find these two key elements, and the brainstorming for this was especially fun. 😉

What problem do the gingerbread people have? Why did the agency start in Joel’s garage?

Deep questions. 😉 It was a lot of fun, and I think we made nice progress. I’m looking forward to seeing these stories next month.

What are some of your favorite ways to teach writing to younger kids?


4 thoughts on “Brainstorming in the Treehouse

  1. Provide some pictures with characters in them. If you can “story board” with some pictures cut from magazines, calendars, newspapers, it’s easier to find a story. 🙂 Ask the questions, “What did they do first?” “What do they need now?” “What happened after this?” “Was anyone else around?” “What were they thinking?” “What was the weather like?” It’s so much fun to toss ideas out and if you keep asking questions, it’s much easier to get a story idea. And if they already have at least one picture to “use” then it’s so much easier. 🙂

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