Student Question

Could you help me write a story in first person, third person limited, or third person omniscient?

Expert Answers

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I can't write this story for you, but I am allowed to help you brainstorm some ideas to begin forming the story. In my creative writing class, I always recommend that students write stories about things they know and understand. This doesn't mean the story needs to be a personal experience of yours. It means that you want to incorporate themes, ideas, and emotions that you know about. For example, perhaps you've lived through the death of a loved one. Those emotions are yours, but you can confidently write those emotions into a fictional character and story about some other kind of hurt and loss. Perhaps you've gone camping. Perhaps you've been lost from your parents for a little bit at an amusement park. You could combine those two things and write a story about a boy that gets lost from his family while camping. Now you have a survival story that needs writing. Sometimes, a picture can be great inspiration for a story. I like showing students Georges Seurat's painting “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” I then make them write a short story that incorporates that painting. Who are these people? Why are they there? Pick a person that isn't super central and obvious in the painting and create a story about why they are there. Maybe they are meeting a loved one. Maybe they are on a clandestine mission of some kind. Choose one figure and write a first-person account telling what that person is seeing at the moment that the painting captures. What happens next? Write your story about things that could happen within the next hour on La Grande Jatte. Include some dialogue sequences as you think they may occur as well.

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