StoryBuilders: Help for writer’s block

by | Feb 21, 2008 | WriteShop I & II, Writing Games & Activities

WriteShop StoryBuilders

The Perils of Writer’s Block

Writer’s block. We shudder at the very word.

It’s reduced many a child to tears because any creative thought that may once have lurked in his mind is now shrouded in fog.

Don’t laugh! I know you wince at the memory of wads of paper thrown in frustration to gather at your son’s feet like so many tumbleweeds.

Writer’s block. It makes the bravest of writers want to race out the door to chase butterflies. Shoot, we’ll gladly shovel snow, clean up after the dog, or scrub the toilet if it means not having to engage in a stare-down with that blank page.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the prolific child whose words fall over themselves in their eagerness to adorn her paper.

But the fact is, she doesn’t live with you.

Truth be told, you sometimes wonder if she’s a myth altogether, because when it’s time to write, no one at your house can ever seem to think of anything to say.

Thankfully, here’s something that just might help! It’s a series of fun little e-books called StoryBuilders. Sometimes, all a child needs to feel inspired is a catchy or clever or silly topic to send her off and running with pencil flying and words racing. And that’s what StoryBuilders are all about!

StoryBuilders - Printable writing prompts from WriteShop

What Are StoryBuilders?

“So,” you ask, “What are these StoryBuilders of which you speak?”

Well, they’re printable card decks that arm your kids with the basic elements of a story—character, character trait, setting, and plot. The first StoryBuilder in the series is called World of People, which features 48 human characters, from gangster and gardener to sailor and scientist.

Using the StoryBuilder Cards as writing prompts, your kids will develop their tales by picking one card from each category. Does the hero save the day? Will the notorious bad guy learn a lesson? And what twists and turns appear in the character’s path? A hurricane? A bag of loot? A mysterious letter?

Sometime in the next week or two, take a little break from writing lessons and let your children write for the sheer joy of playing with words! The 62-page e-book contains 192 printable cards and lots of ideas for incorporating StoryBuilders into your family writing time.

Go ahead! Blow a few fresh ideas into your kids’ brains and clear out the fog of writer’s block!


  1. Kim

    Thank you for leaving some love, Wendy! We’re tickled with Robbie’s story, and are delighted that your family is enjoying StoryBuilders so much. It’s always nice for us moms to have a few tricks up our sleeves for those times when our kiddos need a diversion or a break from routine.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wendy B

    Kim- We LOVE StoryBuilders! My boys ( 10 and 8 ) have been having a blast with them and the fun just won’t end. This very morning my guys asked me if we could “do those fun card things again!”

    Robbie is 8 and he looked a bit unsure as I had him draw 4 cards from the StoryBuilders Deck but as soon as we read his picks ( a concieted cowboy ,on a raft ,helps someone, breaking glass) we were giggling. Without a hitch, Robbie took off writing. Below is HIS story!

    “The conceited cowboy, who didn’t have a horse because he was so conceited no one would sell one to him, was riding on his raft dreaming of a brown mustang. Suddenly he heard the sound of breaking glass. In his mind he jumped off his horse which was really his raft. SPLASH! THAT woke him up! He jumped up and ran toward the sound. He ran and ran and ran. FInally he found it. It was a store window. Then cowboy helped and the man who owned the store gave him a brown mustang! The End”

    Thanks, Kim, for such a great resource! It has certainly added some big smiles to our writing time these last weeks!



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