(Or a Prompt Disguised as Playing Games)
Ok, so this post is mainly for children who play MineCraft, but it would also work with Legos, clay models, or other types of artwork.
Ian and I are on a mission to write an eBook together so he can publish it on Amazon and earn a small amount of money. I told him I was sure he would sell at least ten copies of the book. (If not, I’ll make it happen. Moms are magical like that, lol.) If we charge $1.99 and he earns 70%, then he will make at least $14.
Fourteen dollars is a lot of money in his world, and even though he doesn’t like the whole physical aspect of writing, he still enjoys brainstorming, coming up with a plot, and even composing sentences – as long as I’m the one doing the actual writing. Although, when we get down to it, we will take turns writing the sentences down. So expect a novella where every other sentence is much shorter than the rest, lol.
We spent Sunday afternoon coming up with a setting, a main character, the major conflict, and a few minor conflicts. We did a little bit of world building and story set-up as well. As soon as we think of a good resolution, we’ll be ready to start writing. (We did write a couple of story sentences along the way, when we happened to think of a good way to get our point across.)
Here’s where the fun begins. Right after we started brainstorming, Ian ran into the living room and switched on the television and Xbox. What? I thought we were going to write a story? It turns out, he had every intention to help me, but while doing so, he wanted to be crafting his story in 3D. Not just his story world, but he used some of the events of the game to help him brainstorm events in his story as well. For instance, he suffered from an explosion (via creeper), and decided that the villagers would nurse him back to health.
Now, I know there are TONS of children (and adults) who play MineCraft, so this could be a fun project for them. And if not, perhaps you or your child like to draw, paint, or make 3D models from construction paper, tin foil, what have you. The idea is to do whatever it takes to open up creative pathways in your thinking patterns while you brainstorm story components.
One little caveat with Ian’s idea: He will have to change the names of his monsters and main characters and other little details to mask the fact that he is really writing fan fiction. I’m sorry, but I don’t think he can get by with publishing a book that contains creepers, Steve the adventurer, and mining for redstone. Oh, and let’s not forget villagers that barter with emeralds…
While Kindle Worlds does have a few licenses with a few companies to enable people to publish fan fiction and get paid for it, MineCraft is not yet one of those options. We are following them on Twitter though, so if it ever does happen, we’ll know, lol.