Activities & Journals

Pssst!

Quickly, there’s little time!

Pack a bag with thirteen brussels spouts, a rock-climbing rope, a brick, a subway map, and a cloak. Now, follow me!

Welcome to the makings of a Flash Adventure Story!

Did I say ADVENTURE?!

Whether you’re dangling from the edge of a crumbling cliff, or fleeing from the flesh-rotting smell  of the Carrion “corpse” flower—adventure is awesome!

It’s what I like to write about—even if my own adventures aren’t like my brother, Pete’s!

He still dangles from crumbling cliffs! And while he’s never fled from stinky flowers, he has escaped from numerous real-life obstacles—avalanches, towering ice collapses, malfunctioning oxygen tanks, and more—all while climbing to the top of Mount Everest—seven times!

Question What makes a good adventure?

Answer Three things:

      1. A Quest or Goal
      2. Unexpected Events that Escalate
      3. An Uncertain Outcome

Now, write a super short, super quick story about these things

— and—

you’ll have your own Flash Adventure Story! 


Simple Steps to Write a Flash Adventure Story

Step 1: Make a list of 5 things to pack for your adventure.

Step 2: Devise a quest or a goal. Tell us what it is, why you selected it, and how you feel about it. This becomes the beginning of your story.

Step 3: You are challenged with three obstacles and must overcome each one, using a different item you’ve packed. This becomes the middle of your story. Here are the obstacles:

  • First, you encounter an unwelcome intruder—animal, person, or object. Using an item you’ve packed, you must successfully dodge the unwelcome intruder. Describe what happens.
  • Next, you become trapped in an enclosed space. Using another item you’ve packed, you must successfully escape. Describe what happens.
  • Finally, you’ve become exhausted and weak from your previous obstacles, and you wonder if you can continue. You have become your own obstacle. Using an item you’ve pack, you must successfully complete your quest. Describe what happens.

Step 4: After you complete your quest, you’ll have two items left. You must use both items in a clever way to end your story.

Step 5: Give your story the best title ever!


Watch For It!
I will be posting my Flash Adventure Story next time! I bet you’re wondering what becomes of the brussel sprouts! Watch for it!

The Spark
The idea for Flash Adventure Stories was sparked by a game I made up with my students called Colonial Survivor. They could select only five things to take with them to the New World. The surprising events they encountered challenged their problem-solving skills and imagination—BIG TIME!

After getting over the initial shock of no electronics, they scrambled to survive! Their boat became a temporary shelter until their mud lean-tos were completed. Their shoes were fashioned into canisters for carting water.  Crafting meals of the stinky corpse flowers and the beetles that burrowed inside them added to their imaginary adventure! (Yes…they beefed up the gross factor; the corpse flower originates in Asia and, while there are many plants in the United States today, this would not have been the case during Colonial times.)