I Can't Believe, by Kaitlin

"I Have Seen Stars" by Casey
Based on Heather Wright's writing prompt, where you start a scene with a snippet of dialogue and build from there.

"I can't believe he gave that to her!"

"I can't believe she took it!"

Jasmine skulked back to her listening place behind the bookshelf and drew a shaky breath in. Why shouldn't she have taken the necklace from Jason? He had been so sweet, setting up that romantic dinner before showing her that dazzling necklace. What could be wrong with it?

She knew that Jason wasn't the best kid in school but she believed that he was just misunderstood. She crunched her eyes closed and thought back to when he gave her the necklace, trying to remember anything strange. His face hadn't given any signs of bad intention the whole night. Wait... when she asked where he had gotten it, he had started stuttering and quickly changed the subject.

She knew he had been accused of stealing things before, but never something this big. If he really had taken it, he was in big trouble. Big trouble indeed.

She decided that when she saw him tomorrow she would confront him and demand the real story...

I Can't Believe, by Erin

"School Hallway" by KFIU Public Radio
Based on Heather Wright's writing prompt, where you start a scene with a snippet of dialogue and build from there.

"I can't believe he gave that to her."

"I can't believe she took it."

Penny wasn't deaf -- she could hear the whispers. It wasn't like they were exactly hard to hear: in the hallways, out on the grass, and even in the classrooms. She had heard them before, always about different people. Never once had she dreamed the whispers would be about her. But now they were and she had no idea what to do.

It wasn't like they were wrong. Yes, she had accepted Jake's gift. So what? Was it wrong to say thank you and accept a gift? Did middle schoolers really have to take every interaction between a male and a female as some sort of relationship?

Well, technically, Penny and Jake did have a relationship, but...

Someone stopped her in her thoughts. Penny blinked and flinched in surprise. "Who's there?"

Jake smiled sheepishly "Uh, hi?"

Penny stared at him before grabbing his arm and dragging him to the side of the hall. "What are you doing?" she hissed.

He seemed confused. "Saying hi?"

"We can't be seen together." Penny's face flushed.

"Why?"

"Haven't you heard the whispers?"

Jake nodded. "About me giving you the hockey book? Yeah, why?"

Penny took a shuddering breath in. "They think that one, I'm a weirdo for liking hockey, and two, that we're in some sort of relationship."

Jake shook his head. "Why can't you tell them the truth?"

Penny sighed and placed her hands to her head. "Come on, Jake. Who's really going to believe that we're cousins?"

I Can't Believe, by Sierra

"Damascus Steel Ring (#126)" by Jon Fife

Based on Heather Wright's writing prompt, where you start a scene with a snippet of dialogue and build from there.

"I can't believe he gave that to her!" Jasper said, referring to how Sebastian had given Luce his family's ring.
"I can't believe she took it!" Emelia replied, shaking her head, her brown curls bouncing as she did so.

Word of the engagement had spread quickly through the high class people of London. They wondered why such a noble girl would ever want to marry Sebastian. He was a disgrace to his family and would bring shame to Luce's name. But they didn't know the full story. They didn't know how he had saved the entire country...

The exact opposite

"Defining the Fleeing Retronym" by Derrick Tyson
This month we're thinking and talking about characters. What makes a character seem real or likeable? Are the characters in your stories just like you? Or are they so different from you that writing about them is like inventing an entirely new persona? Our writing warm-up prompt this month is all about getting inside the mind of somebody not like you at all and being able to bring them to life. Give it a try, and if you like what you come up with send it to us here at twine(dot)scld@gmail.com.

Writing Prompt: If you were to describe a character who is the exact opposite of you, what would they be like? Would they be the same gender? Old? Young? How would they dress? What would they care about? Who would their friends be? Go ahead and list everything you can think of about this "opposite" character. Now, think about how you would go about making this character likeable to readers. When you've got some ideas, write a paragraph or two either having your character tell us who he or she is, or have someone describe this character. Go!

Starting with Dialogue

"Wedding Gift" by Julian Wylegly
If you've ever been to TWINE, you know we're big fans of writing prompts. Prompts are pictures, lines of text, or even lists of items that somehow suggest a story. They can get you moving again when you're stuck, and they can be a great daily warm-up exercise that works with your subconscious to create new and surprising creative ideas!

Heather Wright has some excellent writing prompts at her blog and in her book Writing Fiction: A Hands-On Guide for Teens, including using just a snippet of dialogue to suggest an entire scene or story.

Give this one a try:

Character 1: "I can't believe he gave that to her."

Character 2: "I can't believe she took it."

What do you think is going on here? Write for ten minutes, continuing the dialogue, or incorporating it into a scene that tells us more about who's speaking, who they're talking about, and what the mysterious "it" is! Share your writing by emailing it to us at twine(dot)scld@gmail.com.

Seven Line Story Structure

"Sete" by Eurritimia

 









Here's a fun structure exercise we did at the last meeting of TWINE, courtesy of Andrew McMasters of Jet City Improv in Seattle. Try breaking down a story you already know (fairy tales are great for this) into the seven lines below. The seven line story exercise shows you how stories are made up of a beginning, an escalating series of events and consequences, and an ending. Try it as a brainstorming exercise, or use it for a story you're already writing.

1. Once upon a time...
2. And every day...
3. Until one day...
4. And because of this...
5. And because of this...
6. Until finally...
7. And ever since then...

Eavesdropping on TWINE


Erin used this photo and painting (from Girls Standing on Lawns) as the inspiration for her timed-writing piece, "Eavesdropper."

 
"Alicia is a very quiet girl. If you don't see Alicia, you might not even know she is there. But do not get me wrong, she is very intelligent. She might even have one of the sharper minds in the class. And she is so well dressed! Every day in her little white dress those adorable socks and sweet little brown shoes. However, I'm sorry to say she is just so quiet her class participation is little to none. Has she always been so shy?"
 
Alicia stared at the large wooden door in front of her, little white dress flapping in the breeze. Slowly she put her hand on the schoolhouse door, wondering if she should go in, wondering if she should tell her parents and Mrs. Hillis she had heard everything.
 
"No, actually. She can be quite loud at home if she wishes." Her mother's voices was actually surprised. "If she's quiet at school, she must have some sort of reason."
 
Alicia decided against it. Removing her hand from the door knob, she once again froze in a position as still as a statue.
 
Sometimes being quiet had its advantages.