Teach and learn creative writing lesson.




Every story has the same basic parts. This lesson will give you an overview of the parts of a story.

You will do some practice exercises to get your imagination going so you can plan the parts of a story you want to write.


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The main parts of a story are character(s), plot and setting. You may have heard these terms before. Every story has characters. The characters can be adults, children, or even animals. In some stories, objects with human traits and voices are characters, like the teacup in Beauty and The Beast, for example.


The plot is the story itself. A good plot captures attention and makes the reader of your story want to keep reading. Conflict is another term that is related to plot. Every story has a conflict. This is the issue or problem faced by the characters. It may be a problem they need to solve or an adventure you want them to have.


The setting is where the story takes place. It may take place in a familiar city or another country, in the character's home, at a school, in a sports stadium…any place that fits the characters and the plot. Of course, there can be more than one setting within a story if the story is long enough. Since you will be writing a short story, it will probably be best to set it in only one place. Related to setting is the time period. A story may be set in the present, in the past, or in the future.


When you plan a story, begin with a character or characters, a plot (something for the character or characters to do), and a place and time for the action of the story to happen. You may be surprised how many ideas you have for characters, plot, and setting once you start thinking about them. These things may be based on your own real-life experiences, or they may come completely out of your imagination. Think about some of your favorite stories. How would you describe the characters? Where do the stories take place? What is the story about?


The Main Character

Begin with a main character. To do this, think of some of the interesting people you have known. You may decide to write about a character that is based on a person you know, or you may want to give an animal or thing the characteristics of a person. Do you have a favorite uncle who does really funny things? Do you know a kid who is really smart but maybe a little clumsy, too? Do you have a pet that seems to think he is human? Once you start thinking about all the people you know and what makes them special and different from each other, you will begin to get a lot of great ideas for characters.

The Plot

Of course, your character or characters will need a story to be part of. They need to do something interesting or have a special experience. Think of some of the things you are interested in and like to do. You might want to write a story in which the characters play sports, solve a mystery or win a contest. Something exciting, embarrassing or scary that has happened to you or a friend can also be a starting point for a good story.


The Setting

When you have an idea for a plot and the characters it will involve, you will need to decide where your story will take place. Sometimes you will decide on the place before you make up the plot. If you like the zoo or the mall, you may want to set a story in one of those places. Maybe the place you spent your last summer vacation is a good setting for your story. If you choose the plot first, the setting of the story may be obvious. For example, if you decide to write a story about a baseball player, there's a good chance that at least part of the story will take place on a baseball field!



Lesson #1

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