The question students most often ask authors is: “Where do you get your ideas?”

The more enigmatic answer to that question is ideas come from a serendipitous mix of imagination, mind, and heart reacting in wonder and curiosity to everything in the world.

The pragmatic answer may be more helpful—begin your story on the day that’s different.

The blank white page—tangible paper or glaring screen—is daunting, whether you are a young person or an adult. The “Plot Hint: Start on a Day That’s Different” slideshow features excerpts from multiple novels that demonstrate how starting a story on a day that’s unusual can be an effective strategy for developing a story. The slideshow includes questions for class discussion, as well as a Let’s Write! exercise that encourages kids to write their own story by starting on the day that’s different.

Teacher Tip! Please preview the slideshow and educator guide before sharing with your students so you can determine which activities and exercises will best meet the needs of your class.

RESOURCES: Educator Guide | Handouts | Bibliography

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