Friday, April 4, 2008

Writing Challenge for Today - Alternatives

If one takes the challenge to build on something said by an AOL Children's Writers' Group member and Chat visitor, and a noted author of the past (perhaps Willa Cather or Edith Wharton),


Consider: If, as some people claim, all the plots and story settings have already been written, and you are a new writer, or a writer starting to write in a genre new for you, you need to put a unique spin or twist on one of those plots and/or settings to write your own unique creation.


Keeping in mind that you are a writer for children or young teens, and then going a step further than what is stated in the paragraphs above, try this writing exercise:


Consider: If you were to write a story that’s an “up to date” version, or a modern twist on, a story previously written, what would you write?


"Ella Enchanted" and “Enchanted” may come to mind as examples of new twists on fairy tales.


What about twists in other stories? Think: how would you write alternative stories featuring other than the original characters, or places, or plots, or parts of plots?


[To get you started, you might think of “A Kid in King Arthur’s Court” that’s an alternate version of Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”]).


Think of a classic children’s or YA book. Try to replace an all-important place in it with another place.


Which place would you suggest as an alternative and how would the plot change and yet maybe stay similar to the originals?


Also, a bit harder, how would you change characters and then write alternatives to the original story? (Changes may be in who is a main character and who are primary characters like sidekicks to the main character. There could also be new characters).


Also, which plot part in a classic story would you change, and how would the story and characters change because of that?


Would any of this be possible? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.


Do you feel up to taking this challenge?


I dare you to give it a try!

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