Tag Archives: Halloween story

Halloween & Spooky Story Project: Step By Step Plan to Keep Your Kids or Students Busy Until Halloween

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haunted character

Create your own spooky story this week with a step by step plan. Click on Day 1 below to get yourself started.

So, I am currently a semi-retired teacher writing full-time. But when I was teaching, I would teach my class one of my most loved and remembered writing units: A Write It Yourself Spooky Story Unit! I would spend a whole week, sometimes two, with my students writing a spooky story that they would then read-aloud on Halloween. We would spend the whole day in school reading them, and I’ve been told year after year, it was the one thing that my students remembered from being in my class.

So, I will share with you now, the step by step plan for getting your kids (or yourself) motivated and channeling that nervous Halloween energy into something productive. I first wrote these posts back in 2015. The links will take you to the original instructional posts.

If you are a teacher, and would like the full lesson plan for this unit. It is available on Teachers Pay Teachers in my Writing Is Fun Store.

Below is the list of each step. The link will take you to the post with all the information you need to get started.

Day 1: Write Your Own Spooky Story, Create Your Main Character

Day 2: Creating a Spooky Setting Or Plot

Day 3: Starting the Rough Draft

Day 4: Continuing Rough Draft with Dialogue

Day 5: Revising and Proofreading Your Story

Day 6: Writing the Final Draft

Pumper

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title.

Also to celebrate Halloween, I’ve put my Halloween picture book, Pumper the Pumpkin, on sale for FREE from Friday Oct. 27 – Tuesday Oct. 31. I wrote the first draft when I was 10 years old and promised myself to finish it when I got older. I did.

So, have fun writing with your class or children this week. Or maybe you’re the child writer, and you’d like to take this on. Go for it! It may be the start of a new adventure for you. Writing is fun and challenging, and so worth the effort of seeing people enjoy your story.

Be sure to comment and let me know how you like this post. I’d love to hear what kind of stories you all come up with.

**If you liked this post or others, please be sure to follow my blog. My fourth book in the Crystal Keeper Chronicles is complete and is going through the revision process. So, get on the newsletter and blog list today. Be sure to get all the updates and informative posts coming up in the next several months!

And of course, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! WAAAHHAHHHHAHAHHAH!

-Tiffany Turner

 

 

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Pumper the Pumpkin Picture Book Free Oct. 28-31/Write Your Own Spooky Story

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Every year, I like to give away a little treat of my own. I’ve written a picture book from a story I originally wrote when I was 10. I originally wrote it back in Mrs. William’s class when I was in the Fifth Grade. 35 years later, here is the story of that long ago character I created, Pumper the Pumpkin.

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Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner *Available for Free on Amazon 10/28-31

On Halloween Eve, Pumper is trying to be a jack-o-lantern. Only he needs to find the right family to adopt him. Will he in time? Join Pumper in this amazing Halloween quest of being a part of something bigger.

This Halloween short story is intended for ages 3-10. Get into the Halloween spirit with this family friendly tale.

For years, I’ve carved Pumper the Pumpkin has my pumpkin in hale to this character I created so long ago. Sometimes, things you make up as a kid, like having unicorn friends come hang out with you in your bedroom, can make their way into a children’s story to entertain children that were once your age.

Remembering those fun, creative activities always has been a plus for me. I use them all the time in my stories. And yes, I still have the Pumper original story. I promised myself that when I got bigger and my language arts skills improved, I would rewrite Pumper the Pumpkin. The original story had bully kids come in and throw all of Pumper’s family to the ground, breaking them into pieces. It’s how I said he was alone originally. But I cut that out in the rewrites, and made it that he just hadn’t been picked yet. I added the character Miraballe. Voila! A new, improved Pumper story was born.

So, if you’d like to write your own Spooky story over the next few days before Halloween, check out the steps on How To Write Your Own Spooky Story below. These can be done in a few days if you double up a few of the lessons. Try two lessons a day, and you can make your story in time for Halloween. Waaaahhahhahahahha!

Day 1 For Writing A Spooky Story: Main Character Creation

Day 2: Creating a Spooky Setting/Plot

Day 3: Starting the Rough Draft

Day 4: Continuing Rough Draft with Dialogue

Day 5: Revision and Proofreading your story

Day 6: Writing the Final Draft

For those of you that would like the full lesson plan, it is available on Teachers Pay Teachers at this link: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spooky-Story-and-Summary-Report-October-Writing-Unit-2763010

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The Spooky Story Writing Unit is available on Teachers Pay Teachers for $2.95.

Only $2.95!

Plus, Pumper the Pumpkin will be free on Amazon between Oct. 28-31!

https://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A

HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE HALLOWEEN!

-Tiffany Turner

 

 

Spooky Writing Project Unit On Sale 10/21-10/23 @ TeachersPayTeachers

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spookystoryunitbkcvrSo, I’ve been writing down all my teaching wisdom to preserve and share it with current and future teachers. I’ve had 18 years experience teaching with a specialty in writing. So, I’ve been writing up some fabulous projects on TeachersPayTeachers.com. I’ve just put my Spooky Story writing project unit on sale for this weekend, 10/21-10/23. The unit follows current Common Core standards. It’s on sale for $2.36. Unit includes graphic organizers(worksheets), sample writing paragraphs, grading rubric, and all the lesson plans for the unit. It even includes a Spooky Book Summary Report.

I’ve had kids over and over say this was their favorite project in my classroom. So, if you’re a teacher and need something for Halloween, have the kids write a story. They can’t get enough of this. Or even if you’re a parent and you want to keep your kids busy from now until Halloween, try this project and have them read it on Halloween night. There is nothing more magical than watching kids entertain themselves with their own writing.

LINK To TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS HERE For Spooky Story Project!

Plus, my Halloween read-aloud is available exclusively on Amazon Here!

And I’ve just posted a new writing unit for Mysteries!

Hot off the presses: Mystery Genre Writing Unit LINK HERE!

OH yes, have a spooky and safe Halloween!

Write Your Own Spooky Story Day 5: Revision and Proofreading Your Story

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Writing Your Own Spooky Story Day 5: Revision and Proofreading

Writing Your Own Spooky Story Day 5: Revision and Proofreading

Welcome to Day 5 of writing your own Spooky Story. Well, tomorrow is the big day, Halloween. And I’m sure if you’ve been working hard all week, you’ve got your rough draft done and ready to polish today. This is when you need to find a partner to listen to your story, and give you some feedback. Feedback is comments about what the person liked, what works, and what might need to be changed. They should listen to and let you know if anything is confusing or hard to understand. I’ve always taught this aspect through the writing workshop process, and often gave my students a feedback worksheet to work with. Below are the questions I would include on the sheet for them to fill out.

Your partner can be an older sibling (brother or sister), cousin, Mom or Dad, Grandparent or even Aunt or Uncle. You can also have your friends work with you as well. Writer’s call this a critique group. We often have a network of fellow writers, or betareaders, that read through our stories and give us feedback on what to improve.

You might also notice I mentioned listened. It’s best that you read your story out loud to your partner. That way, it is easier for you to hear what works, check on how dialogue flows, and how your descriptions read. You can often catch awkward and hard to understand sentences this way.

So, here is a list of questions for your betareader(partner) to answer as they listen to your story:

  1. What was your favorite part? Why?
  2. What would you want to know more about in the story?
  3. Is there anything, words or sentences, that were confusing in the story?
  4. What details in the story stood out the most?
  5. What would you want to see in the next story?

After you’ve had a chance to go over some revision, only then let your partner look over your story for corrections in punctuation or spelling. They are welcome to look through and catch any changes they may find. Then, it’s your turn to go back and rewrite the parts and make changes they suggested. When you’re done, show it to them again. See if they suggest anything else.

Most writers do this about 4-5 times. I know, you think, wow, that’s a lot. As a beginning writer try this at least once. Make changes, and show them to your partner one more time. In the last rewrite, they should probably be less often. That’s when you know you’re ready to copy from a revision draft to a final draft.

When you get to that point, you’re ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow, it’s all about copying into a nice final draft to read for friends and family on Halloween. You’re ALMOST there! Have fun today and tonight! You’re in the home stretch.

Meanwhile, looks like I got my phone working. So, I’m going to try the Periscope Broadcast at 3:30 pm PDT. Look for @Tiffmeister. That’s in about 1/2 hr from uploading this post. So, I’ll be going over the steps the last few days, answering questions you might have, and enjoying any comments you have for me. I would love the feedback. Again, Periscope is an app. that is available on Android and iPhone. I’m sure it’s also on iPads too since it’s in the iTunes store. Just head over to the apps section, type in Periscope, and you’re there. So, hope to hear from you. Until then, happy revising! -Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

Write Your Own Spooky Story: Day 4 Your Rough Draft; Adding Dialogue and Getting Unstuck

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Using dialogue to describe your characters action can propel your story forward.

Using dialogue to describe your characters action can propel your story forward.

Welcome to Day 4 of writing your own spooky story. Today, it’s time to work on connecting those middle events to lead to your solution in your ending. It’s going to be a busy day. Before I start, I have to announce the HUGE issues with my phone. It completely has died. I have to take it to the CPR phone store. So, I’m going to have to postpone my Periscope broadcast until tomorrow at 3:30 pm PDT. Sorry folks. When the electronics act up, it affects everything. But of course,  I can still answer questions and comments on the blog. Feel free to ask advice as you progress through your project this week.

Today is the second day of writing your rough draft. It’s the time you need to connect your introduction and problem you wrote yesterday to the rest of the story. You need to write the middle events that lead your characters to the solution, and end your story with the satisfying bang that they crave. In this section, you have to leave clues that your character can find or have events that push them along to the ending. Think of all those other spooky stories you may have read. They will help you get some ideas. Writers are active readers as well as observers. A lot of the time, a good book in the same genre will jog an idea for you. If you get stuck, try remembering some of your favorite books and try the same thing(s) with a twist. All you have to do is something similar but with twists and changes.

Another thing that helps me get in the zone for writing is to put on some music. If it’s difficult for you to concentrate without noise, that’s normal for some people. Some people need a background noise, like music, to concentrate. Some people need complete silence. If you’re having trouble, and know you need quiet or music to write, try making an environment for writing. For example, I have made several playlists for different projects using Youtube. I find the video for a song and put them in a playlist. Right now I’m playing a Halloween playlist to get me in a spooky mood. It includes Panic at the Disco’s “Emperor’s New Clothes”, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, Theme song from “Tales of the Crypt” and “Ghostbusters”. If I get stuck, I watch the video and listen to the music, and it gets my concentration going again. This works for me. But if you have other ways that help you as you write, please feel free to share in the comments section.

As you’re writing, be sure to check your story map to check off things as you add them. They will help you guide yourself to the ending. Also, to avoid telling too much, try using dialogue. Sometimes it’s easier to have your characters talk about something than just describe it. Here’s an example:

Mark and Becky walked up to the house at the end of the street. No one liked to trick or treat at this one house, because it looked too haunted. It had a older man that lost his wife a few years ago. He never appeared except to water his lawn now and again. Becky thought one more treat would be good. Her candy bag looked a bit small. Not many people had been home in her neighborhood. Maybe they could get something at this house after all.

Now, let’s add some dialogue to the paragraph.

Mark looked at Becky. “You think we should trick or treat at the house at the end of the street?”

Becky felt ill. “Really, no. I mean, that old guy never appears since his wife died. He only comes out to water his lawn. He’s not very nice when he does it too.”

Mark grabbed his bag looking inside. “It’s been slim pickings this year. Not many people have been home, Becky. Why don’t we try one more house? It couldn’t hurt, right?”

Becky shrugged her shoulders. What did she have to loose? One more house couldn’t hurt. 

Adding dialogue makes the scene come alive, and you’re no longer telling the action, it is being done by your characters. Dialogue can make the action propel into the next scene. Next, I’d have them walk to the porch and try to trick or treat. Since this would be my haunted house setting, somehow they’d end up inside the house. And then the real fun begins.

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Enjoy finishing up your rough draft today. Tomorrow, we’ll work on revising and proofreading to ready you to get that final copy done for Halloween. Ask around and see if someone is willing to listen to your story for tomorrow. And I’ll post questions and tips for them to look for. Until then, happy writing!- Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

Plus, for this week only starting, Oct. 27, my Halloween Tale, Pumper the Pumpkin will be available for free on Amazon. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A

Write Your Own Spooky Story: Day 2 Supporting Characters/Setting/Plot Planning

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Create a spooky setting with supporting characters to help with the problem towards a solution.

Create a spooky setting with supporting characters to help with the problem towards a solution.

Write Your Spooky Story Day 2: Supporting Characters, Setting, Plot Planning

Welcome back. Today is Day 2 of writing your own Spooky story. I’ve been getting feedback from people that you’re looking forward to writing a story with me this week. This totally makes me excited. I do really love helping people bring out their inner muse no matter what your age is. So, if you’d like to leave comments with questions or what your trying this week, I’ll be happy to respond.

Today, we’ll be working on creating sidekicks and villians. In every story, there needs to be conflict. These supporting characters help create that. First, let’s get some definitions. Sidekick: This is a supporting character for the main character. They can be their confidant and even go along with them as a wingman or helper to face oppositional conflicts. Villian: is also known as the antagonist. This is the character that causes opposition to the protagonist, also known as the hero or main character. They are not necessarily considered the “Bad” guy, or at least, they don’t consider themselves to be the bad guy or gal. They are simple the opposite of the hero.

They can be created similar to the main character, but you need to keep in mind what their motivation or interest in the main character might be. They should have a function relating to the hero or heroine.

All your characters should have these four elements:***

Character=Who

Their Goal=What

Their Motivation=Why

Their Conflict=Why Not

Setting Choice: Choosing a spooky setting will add to your horror fiction. Most spooky stories are set in a haunted house, haunted graveyard, haunted (Fill in the blank). You can get creative with this. Just keep in mind this is an important story element to make your story spooky. You’re characters can even move from a normal setting into the spooky setting later in your story. Just keep in mind, your description in your rough draft will make this spooky setting come alive.

Once you’ve got these basics mapped out for your characters, you’ll be ready for the next step, creating a plot or conflict. This is known as the problem. Give your characters a problem that will motivate them to reach their goal. Then, give them 3 tries to solve it. The first three tries should fail. The last try should be the solution. Once you’ve solved their problem, wrap up the ending conflict with a happily ever after or you could end with a cliffhanger if you want to write a sequel. A cliffhanger is leaving a problem or questions still not finished or answered.

For today’s assignment, you can use the character webbing graphic from yesterday to create your sidekick and villain. Then, use the graphic below to create a basic plot outline or plan. You need to create a problem, 3 attempts to solve the problem in the middle, with the last attempt being the solution. I usually number my attempts 1, 2, 3.

That will give your story a beginning, middle and end. Once you have all of this outlined or mapped, you’re prewriting will be done and you’ll be ready to start your rough draft.

So get busy. Tomorrow is the big day to start the official first draft, the most creative part of the writing process. Happy writing! -Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

***Information cited from Advanced Fiction Writing by Steve Alcorn.

Story map to plan out your plot, characters and setting.

Story map to plan out your plot, characters and setting.

 

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Plus, for this week only starting today, Oct. 27, my Halloween Tale, Pumper the Pumpkin will be available for free on Amazon. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A

 

#SampleSunday Oct. 30, 2011 Pumper Continues His Quest: A Halloween Exclusive

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Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner

Last week, I posted the beginning of my new Halloween Tale, “Pumper the Pumpkin”. This is a short story for children from 3-8 years old. Pumper was off on his quest to become a jack-o-lantern when he met another pumpkin with the same dream, Mirabel. Together they headed off to try to find a way to become jack-o-lanterns. They were given a clue by a scarecrow to check another part of the pumpkin field. This is where our tale left off. Now, we return to “Pumper the Pumpkin”:

And off they went, up and down, and all around, until they reached the other end of the field. There they found a crow.

“Where are you off in such a hurry,” said the crow.

“To find someone to carve us,” said Pumper. “Do you know someone who can?”

“I think I might have seen a family down at the other end of the field by the farm house. Maybe if you check there, one of the children may want to carve you.”

So off they both went, up and down, and all around the drying vines and dirt clogs to the farm house. There, they saw a small family. A boy and girl were looking among the vines and dirt clogs.

“I don’t see any pumpkins left,” said the girl.

“Maybe we’re too late,” said the boy.

“Wait,” shouted Pumper. He slid and jumped as fast as he could.

Mirabel slid and jumped right behind him. “Wait, we’re still here.”

“Do you hear something?,” said the boy turning to the girl.
Mirabel jumped up in the air. “We’re here.” Mirabel jumped as high as she could. “We want to be carved.”

Pumper jumped in the air. “We’re over here”.

Will they find someone to carve them in time?

To find out, you can get your own copy of Pumper the Pumpkin, link to Amazon.com or Smashwords.com. Happy Halloween!

#SampleSunday October 23, 2011 Pumper the Pumpkin, A New Halloween Tale

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Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner

For years, I’ve been working on a Halloween Tale about a little pumpkin that has one wish, to be a Jack-o-Lantern. This year his wish comes true. Pumper is the last pumpkin left in the pumpkin patch. All he wants to be is a Jack-O-Lantern to light the way for trick-o-treaters so they don’t get scared on Halloween night. With his friend Mirabel, his dream comes true as this family friendly tale unfolds.

Pumper was a character I created when I was 10 years old. It was a school assignment to write a Halloween story while I was in Fifth Grade. The original story was my exploration in character development and early chapter books.

Pumper’s first adventure is a bit strange, with the loss of his entire family due to high school bullies that smash them in the middle of the night. Thinking that was too scary, I took that out as an adult, and came up with a quest adventure to replace some of the previous ideas.

Here is an excerpt from the beginning of Pumper the Pumpkin:


Once upon a time, there was a small pumpkin left in the pumpkin patch on Halloween Eve. All the other pumpkins had been picked and given good homes. But Pumper the Pumpkin was the only one left of all the pumpkins that had been before.

He wanted to be a Jack-o-Lantern. It was his one wish, to be all lit up on Halloween night, bright and shiny, so all of the Trick-o-Treaters could say “Hi” and not be afraid.

He was feeling rather sorry for himself when he heard some crying out in the distance.

Who could that be? He was the only one left in the patch? Or was he?

He headed off slowly in the direction of the crying. He slid over drying vines and dead leaves. There were holes and ditches where all the pumpkins had been on display.
He went up, and then down. He went sideways, and around. And then he arrived where the crying had started.

It was a girl pumpkin, all alone. She sniffed when she saw him. “Who are you?”

“My name is Pumper. What’s yours?”

“Mirabel.”

“Nice to meet you.” He nodded and asked, “How come you are all alone in the pumpkin patch?”

“Because no one picked me for their pumpkin. All I want to be is a Jack-o-lantern. It means so much to be lit up so all the Trick-0-Treaters will say ‘Hi’ and not be scared.”

“Wow! I thought I was the only one. I thought I was all alone in the pumpkin patch.”

“Me too,” sniffed Mirabel.

“Maybe we can work together to find someone to make us into Jack-o-Lanterns.”

So off they went to look for someone that could turn them both into Jack-o-Lanterns.

They went up and down, around and between drying vines. Then they spotted a maze of corn. The farmer had cut paths throughout the cornfield. Maybe someone was still exploring their way out. After all, the sun wasn’t down yet.

So they went into the maze. They went around and down through husks of corn. They went slow and fast until they found the middle. In the middle was a scarecrow.

“Hello Mr. Scarecrow,” said Pumper. “We’re trying to find someone to carve us for Halloween. Could you carve us please?”

“I should think not,” said the scarecrow. “My job here is to make sure the crows don’t get any of the corn in the maze. There is still plenty to do, and I don’t have time to do any carving. What you need is a nice boy or girl to carve you. There might be one or two still left at the other end of the field. The sun isn’t down yet, and many people look all the way until it is dark.”

“Thank you friend Scarecrow,” said Mirabel. “We’ll go see what is at the other end of the field.”

And off they went, up and down, and all around, until they reached the other end of the field. There they found a crow.

A Note on the cover art: I drew the cover and used GIMP to complete the project. My husband, Keith, helped with final touches. The drawing of Pumper was developed when I was 10. Each year, I would carve him from my chosen pumpkin with the same eyes and face. One year I got creative and used paper to create his facial features. He lasted until Thanksgiving that way. Now Pumper will live forever in this Halloween Tale.

**Pumper the Pumpkin is available as an ebook at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com.