Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Minecrafting a Story: A Ten-Year-Old Writer Shares Advice

In his Free Writing time at school, my son has been crafting a story which has caused quite a stir around the fifth grade classroom.

He agreed to an interview for A Story Club. Maybe we can all get a glimpse into the creative mind of a ten-year-old. Welcome, Matthew!

So I hear you've been writing a story based on one of your favorite games, Minecraft. What exactly is this game, and why is it so popular?

Minecraft is a game about placing, destroying, and mining blocks. The goal is to mine diamonds, which are found in caves. They're very rare. Once you get them, you can make tools and armor. Then you have to kill Ender men and collect Ender pearls. You also have to go into the Nether, kill Blazes, get Blaze powder, and then craft Eye of Ender. Then you release them into the air and follow them to the stronghold. You go through the portal into the end, and fight the Ender dragon. 

Then there is also a free-play mode, where you have unlimited resources and unlimited health.

How is your story based on the game?

My story is the journal of a guy who appeared in a Minecraft world and had to survive. He invited his friends in. There is an evil guy named Herobrine, and he is trying to steal their stuff. They have to kill him. 

What made you decide to write it as a journal?

It just sounded better.

I heard that when you traded stories at school, some kids did not want to give you your notebook back.

Yea, they didn't want to stop reading it, and they were begging me to write more.

Do you think that people need to know about Minecraft in order to enjoy the story?

No, some kids did not know anything about the game and they still understood the story. I think it would make a lot more sense if you did know the game.

How much have you written?

Part 1 is complete. I've started Part 2, and there is a sequel planned.

What is your advice for other young writers?

Write about what you really like, and it will turn into a good story.

We have an excerpt! Sit back and enjoy.

(From Minecraft. . .)

Day: 13
     I've been up all ni. . .*snore . . . . . . . . .Ugh, Ugh! was the sound I awoke to. It was Herobrine! He fell for my trap. I attacked him and Rueben came running. The next thing I knew Herobrine dropped the diamond sword and ran.

Day: 14
    I've been up all night partying. I still want to kill Herobrine. Rueben had a close encounter with a Creeper last night. It was about 11:00 p.m. and he was barking at me, so I figured he wanted to kill a sheep. I let him out. About 10-20 minutes later I started to get suspicious. I went outside to see what he was doing and this is what I saw: Rueben cornered by a Creeper. I attacked the Creeper and killed him. Rueben is grounded from sheep-killing now.

Day: 15
    Today was just a normal day. I did some mining and found some coal.

Day: 16
    Guess what?! I found out how to join a multiplayer server! I'm switching to a LAN world right now! Really *click* I think I will allow 1 person in for now. A message appeared on my screen-"JoeGuy61" appeared in your world! I think I'll send him my coordinates.

Well, there you have it! Very exciting stuff. I can see why the other kids were hooked. 

What do you love about young people's stories?


  1. WOW! I think he has picked up your talent for writing . . . And what a neat way to write up a story. (Journal version!) I may have to take some pointers from him for my scrapbooking! lol

    1. Yes, that would make for some good scrapbooking! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I really like that Matthew is creating a story based on something he is interested in and that his "readers" can relate to. I also like that he is "creating" the story and not "reporting" what happened while he was playing Minecraft. I can't wait to see where his story goes next!

    1. Thanks for all you do to encourage and inspire these kids!

  3. I agree with Kyla that your son is.....well....your son. He has picked up your special talent in creative writing! As for your question: the aspect that I love most as reflected in kids' stories is a lack of stifled creativity--they haven't lost their sense of adventure or innocence the way we adults have. I'll give you a perfect example: Remember what fun it was as a kid to pull out all of the canned goods and boxes from the Lazy Susan and then get down on the kitchen floor and explore bagging grocery items? Such a world of stimuli/exploration might lead a child to some new discovery about the organization of shelves in a grocery story or to invent the sturdiest, eco-friendly grocery bag. Unfortunately, we adults have lost our sense of freedom in exploration because we've told "No" so long or to follow one way or the highway, and we see the same heap on the kitchen floor as just a mess that is impeding our ability to get supper done.

    By the way, Christina, I just read and reviewed a book called, S.T.A.L.K.E.R by a Goodreads author friend I've made--it's a graphic sci-fi novel based upon a video game too. And it's written in journal/letter format. That was my first such novel, and it definitely opened up a whole new genre to my eyes, and your son is onto something that I think is becoming very popular--so he already has the knack for understanding the marketing/business side of writing too. You have a real genius in your folds.

    Another cool post, Christina!

    1. Lisa, thank you for all your insights! I love it too that kids haven't yet had all that creativity stifled and they pretty much play by their own rules. Wow, did not know about that book. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sorry, folks, my nail clipped some dreaded button on my keyboard, and my above comment got published before I had a chance to polish it. But I think you'll get the overall message. One correction in the first paragraph: Grocery "story" should be grocery "store."

    Thanks for your understanding!

    1. You're funny! And. . . you're forgiven your spelling mistake.

  5. I know I'm really late in commenting on your latest post. However, spending a part of almost every day with Matthew (and Allie) has me in anticipation of what they will come up with next. I love Matthew's writing and imagination. Kids write just like they talk. Yesterday Matthew was on-line looking at a rope trick and he got his rope and worked like crazy until he mastered the trick. Allie was creating fairies and then played with her fairy paperdolls. I thought how uncluttered their minds are right now and ripe for creating. Allie recently told me about a book she and her friend were reading. They both had to stop because an animal died in the story and it reminded them both of a pet they lost. Allie said, "Ok, I'm done. I can't read anymore." Katie said the same. I'm so glad they are into reading! You should see their rooms - full of books.