A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: VOICE Support Trait: ORGANIZATION

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A Character's Decalogue

embedding an original character's ten-item list in a story that shows voice


Student Writer Instructions:

Chapter 4 of Because of Winn Dixie has one character (the preacher) sharing a list of ten facts with another character (Opal).  The two characters interact with each other as one character does most of the talking.  The reader stays interested in the preacher's list, because the characters are interacting so interestingly while it is being shared.  We learn things about not only Opal and the preacher, but also about Opal's missing mother.  This is a particularly well-written chapter.

For this writer's challenge, you will do three things.  First, you will create an interesting character by pressing the two buttons below.  Second, you will compose a list of ten things your imaginary character believes in; the third button below might give you a topic for your character's list.  Third, you will write a short story--much like chapter 4 of Because of Winn Dixie--where two characters interact while one of the characters shares his/her list of ten things.

As you write your short story, try to focus just as much on the interaction between characters as you do the list that's being shared.  Have the characters do something while they are talking.  Using action words to make better descriptions is a great technique used by real writers.

Interactive Choices for Writing:

If you're struggling to start, click the buttons below for some ideas that might inspire you to launch your piece of writing.


Character Ideas:

(It's okay to think up your own character idea, if you can't find one you like here.)

Decalogue Topic Ideas:

(It's okay to think up your own decalogue idea, if you can't find one you like here.)


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