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story starters

Be sure to visit the Ideas page within this "Resources" group of pages. It will alert you to the newest posts on Storytelling + Research = LoiS. I tend to either tell stories from history or folktales, but I also sometimes create my own tall tales (now would I lie? NEVER!) and even some original stories. This list is intended to get you started thinking of the many original stories you already have lurking inside you. An actual story writing workshop looks at examples of this and gives participants an opportunity to start creating.

Story Starter Suggestions

  • Automobile stories
  • Babysitting, Best friends, Best/Worst time in school, Birth stories, Birthdays, or a Building and why it's important
  • Colorful relative, Coming home after a long time, or Curiosity causing trouble
  • Dogs, cats, or other pets
  • Escapes, narrow or failed
  • Family resemblances (physical/temperamental), Family work project, or Fights
  • Gardening or adventures in nature
  • Holiday memories and traditions or How mom and dad or you and your spouse) met
  • Injuries that embarrass you or how they happened
  • Jokes or pranks – especially ones that backfired
  • Kitchen disasters
  • Loss or Love stories
  • Mix-ups and what happened as a result
  • Names or Nicknames and why they were given
  • Objects: hand-me-downs, heirlooms, quilts, or others (for example, those you carry with you all the time)
  • Person important to you who has died, Place where you lived, Present(s), or Punishments
  • Quitting a habit or job or . . .
  • Recitals, shows, or competitions
  • Scariest thing that ever happened to you, Sneaking out or running away, or Special times with relatives
  • Things that go bump in the night or Trades and professions
  • Useful routines and how they began
  • Vacations or travels
  • What you used to wear, When someone you know was younger, or When you lost your first tooth.
  • X = the Unknown, what do you fear or wish you knew?
  • Your family came to your aid
  • Zorro or other heroes & heroines to meet or become

Lois with hula hoop

Sometimes storytellers want to create a story or re-tell an actual incident. This is intended as a way to generate ideas. Its own generation began with a discussion on the email discussion list, STORYTELL.
The Story Starter Suggestions are arranged alphabetically for ease of browsing. After all those years as a storyteller-librarian what did you expect? Dewey Decimal System?