Realistic Fiction Pre-writing Book

A type of fiction which means it is not true, it is made up. It takes place in the present, not in the distant past or future. The characters are believable. They could be real people. They do not possess special powers. The events in the story could really happen in real life in our real world.

Brainstorm Possible Stories

Choose your Story
Quickly jot down what you want your story to be about and what is going to happen. Remember, this will most likely change and get better as you learn new strategies!

Character Traits

Brainstorm some different character traits with your class. Remember, these are examples of a character’s personality.

Developing a Believable Main Character
Think about your main character. What are some character traits your character possesses? Do a quick sketch of your character and list some character traits.

Internal vs. External Characteristics
Characters are complicated just like people. They are made up of many different characteristics. When we are making our own character, we have to think about what they look like, who their friends are, what their hobbies are, and what their personality is like. These characteristics are divided into two groups- Internal and External.

INternal Characteristics
Describes the INSIDE heart and mind of a character

EXternal Characteristics
Describes the EXTERIOR of the character-what can been Seen or touched on the outside of the person

Choose a character from a picture book and record the Internal and external characteristics of the character.

INternal Characteristics

EXternal Characteristics

Internal and External Character Traits
Character Name:

Age: Height: Eye color: Hair color: Skin color: Worries/fears Worries/fears:: /fears

Hobbies: Likes: Dislikes: Family: Friends: Pets: Pets:

Have you ever read a book you just couldn’t put down because you wanted to know what was going to happen? Good writers make their writing exciting and full of trouble! The character gets into a mess and you can’t wait to see how they get out of it! With your partner, take a look at a few Realistic Fiction stories. Identify the problem that the main character must deal with.
Title: Problem: Title: Problem:



Title: Problem:

Title: Problem:



Dude, What’s Your Problem?
Common Conflicts (problems) in a story... A misunderstanding with an adult (parent, teacher, etc) A fight with a family member or a friend Loosing something or someone Struggling to fit in to a new place or situation Fighting with your own conscience (should I do this or not?) Trying to make friends/being bullied A deadline Wanting something you don’t have or can’t have

circle Brainstorm some problems that your character might face. Then circle the one that you want to focus on.

Possible Problems

Add some Drama!
Think of climbing a mountain. It starts out easy, but as you continue to climb it gets harder and harder. Finally you reach the top and then its smooth sailing to the bottom. Writers use this mountain analogy to create the action in their story. Writer Lucy Calkins says, “The story mountain shows you that something is going to happen, and things are really getting tough, and then, BAM, something happens right there, on top of that mountain, that changes things or that solves your character’s problem. After that, going along is different, easier, like your character is going down the mountain and the tough part is behind..”

Peter’s Chair by: Ezra Jack Keats

Story Mountain

Summarize your Scenes
Create a mini book with a sheet of paper. On each page summarize one scene from your story. Remember, each scene is just like a small moment story. View the video to learn to make the mini book.

Extend your Scenes
On a separate sheet of paper, or your writer’s notebook, take each scene and expand it like you are writing a small moment story. Show- Don’t tell what is happening. Show the character’s emotion. Sally was very sad that her dog ran away. (BORING!) Sally felt like the world had ended. Her heart did a summersault in her chest. Rover had run off and she didn’t know if she would ever see her little fluff ball again. (EXCITING!)

Try extending this...…

John was so happy that he got his favorite toy for his birthday.

“Teacher, teacher! I’m Done!”
Not so fast! Do you have a powerful ending? Did you end your story with one or two quick sentences? Yikes! You are not done! Good endings usually let the reader know how the writer feels and should wrap up the main idea of the story. Sometimes authors end their stories with a memory, a feeling, a wish, or a hope. Other times they end the story by referring back to the language of the beginning. Let’s take a look at some mentor texts. How does the author end the story? Title: Author: Title: Author:

Title: Author:

Title: Author:

POWERful Endings
Write your current ending sentence or paragraph here.

Now pick 2 different strategies to create 2 new endings. Put a star next to the ending you like best.

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