A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Creating a
Parallel World

using similarities and differences
when describing a parallel world


Student Writer Instructions:

Today, you will create a story where one character leaves our world and enters a parallel world, where many things are the same as they are to us, but where there are some interesting differences. The fun part is that you get to create both an original main character, and you get to create an original parallel world. What will be the same? What will be different? What objects will not be in the parallel world that we have in ours? Will there be things in the parallel world that we haven't ever seen?

Step 1: Determine who your main character is and what his or her goal is going to be in your story. If you get stuck, use the interactive buttons below to get your brain going. Pick a character and a goal. You can always create your own!

Step 2: Once you know what your story will be about, and using The Subtle Knife as inspiration, brainstorm some things that will be the same in the parallel world as we have in ours. In Pullman’s story, Will sees shops, cafes, streets, food, and drink that he recognizes.

Step 3: Next, determine what will be different in the parallel world. In The Subtle Knife, Lyra does not recognize soda-pop or baked beans, for example. Brainstorm a list of things that we have that the parallel world does not have; also, think about things that we don’t have that the parallel world might have. Use your imagination – create fun and interesting things in your parallel world! Maybe there are similar objects, but they have different names in the parallel world. Be creative!

Step 4: Create an outline for a rough draft OR draw a few pictures to storyboard what is going to happen in your narrative.

Step 5: Write your rough draft! Prepare to share it with a friend.

Step 6: Use the idea development and word choice Post-it® Note-sized templates to self-evaluate your rough draft. Revise and publish your final draft.

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.

(It's okay to come up with your own character for this activity, if you think of a better one.)

(It's okay to come up with your own plot idea for this activity, if you think of a better one.) 

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