Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Hans Christian Andersen Writing Prompts
In honor of Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, I would like to offer up a special fairy tale prompt. Did you know that Hans Christian Andersen wrote 175 fairy tales in his lifetime? Among them are The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, and The Emperor's New Clothes. The Writer's Almanac has a nice write-up about him today.
Well, if Hans Christian Andersen can write 175 fairy tales, we can at least attempt to write one. Today's challenge is to write a fairy tale using something magical and follow the guidelines below:
1. The protagonist is stuck in a situation he or she hates (school, job, family, etc.). You pick the situation and give the protagonist character (sex, age, personality, motive, etc.)
2. The magical element is some kind of a talking plant or flower or tree.
3. Somehow, love must be involved.
4. Develop a conflict around the situation the protagonist hates and the person he or she falls in love with.
5. Use the following items in your story: a coffee cup, a pebble, a stream, stars, and music.
Alternative Creative Writing Prompts:
Here are some lines from Hans' stories, and you can start free-writing from any one of them:
1. For many heavy days and dark nights the heart must suffer to. . .
2. The bird flutters round us. . .
3. In the country, close by a high road, stood a. . .
4. It was made of clay in the shape of a. . .
You can read fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen for free here: