I need help with an assignment that involves writing a story based on a collage of learners in classroom. 

Expert Answers
thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Completing a creative assignment of this type means making a series of choices that form the basis of a story outline.

First, look carefully at the collage to find a source of inspiration. Since a story needs some sort of plot dynamic, you should look for two characters you can imagine in some sort of relationship, whether love, hate, jealousy, or some other potential source of conflict. 

Decide on the basic details of what the collage represents:

  • Name and number of the class (e.g. Math 201: Calculus or English 101: First Year Composition)
  • Professor's name
  • Building and room: e.g. Founder's Hall 201
  • Description of building and classroom: e.g. a seminar room on the second floor of a nineteenth-century neo-gothic classroom building

Next, for the two characters you have chosen, create a background sheet for each one, in which you flesh out details about them. Although you may not use all these details in your story, the more you know about your characters, the better you will write about them. Thus you should include on your character sheets:

  • full names
  • family background
  • home town
  • why they are taking the class
  • gender, age, and appearance
  • religion
  • career and personal aspirations
  • pets
  • favorite music, films, TV shows
  • clothing style
  • economic background 
  • what part-time jobs they have, if any

Once you know your characters, start thinking about what sort of relationship they have to each other and how that could propel a plot, starting with a conflict (e.g. they like each other but one of them is still dating a high school sweetheart) and ending with a resolution. Choose a narrative viewpoint and then outline your basic plot arc. 

Once you have completed these steps, writing the actual story should be much easier than if you just stare at a blank computer screen waiting for a story to emerge like Athena from the head of Zeus.