Write Your Own Adventure Story
Your child gets an adventure in creative writing with this activity. He’ll pick his own path, paving the way for authorship!
What You Need:
- Paper, pen, pencils, computer
- Choose Your Own Adventure book(s), or books in a similar format
What You Do:
- First, get your teen acquainted with the style: the Choose Your Own Adventure books trailblazed this format in the ‘70s and ‘80s. To get inspired, search for them on the Internet or at a library for him to read as a model. Most teens know and enjoy these kinds of stories already, and will be excited to try writing one on their own.
- Review that CYOA stories are interactive, with multiple possible paths and endings. The story is written from a second person point of view (“You”); the reader makes choices at the end of each section. The reader’s choices set up the main character’s next actions and eventual outcome.
- Have your child make a list of three possible endings for “You”, the main character. Having only three endings helps shorten the story for first-time write-your-own-adventure writers. For example, the final endings could be (1) You rescue the dog, (2) You get captured by an enemy, or (3) You find a treasure but not the dog.
- Writing a story with multiple endings means writing different paths for each possible outcome. Have your child write a flowe chart for to show how each separate story progresses. Within the chart, he should outline some ideas for the story that includes points where a character makes a choice. The situations, as in any creative writing activity, should include conflict and action. Your child should continue making boxes for each choice until the final three endings. The chart makes a good outline for writing.
- Some "paths" may be longer than others -- that's OK! The only tricky part is making sure none of the paths "double back" on points detailed in other paths. Your child can insert more boxes between the second and third rows of the chart to make the story longer and more interesting as the reader gets closer to the end.
- Have your child write the adventure with detailed descriptions (sights, sounds, smells, feelings, and thoughts).
- Let him test his story by having someone read it and experience different paths.
- He’s on his way to an authoring adventure, with the power to create a world and control a destiny!