Story on a Roll


By Michelle Lynn Senters-

Coming up with ideas for a fiction story can be difficult. Today, you will play a game to help generate ideas.


GAME:  Story on a Roll

paper, pencil, die
(If you don’t have a die, you can play use playing cards #1-6 OR write #1-6 on small pieces of paper.)

You may want to print this page to use as reference.
On your paper, write the following:

  • Main Character:   
  • Secondary Character: 
  • Setting:
  • Action or Problem: 
  • Important Object:


  1. Roll the die (or choose a playing card or #paper without looking) to determine each story element: main character, secondary character, setting, action or problem, and important object.
  2. Use the lists below for each roll. Example: If I rolled a 2 for “Main Character”, I would write “girl” on my paper.
  3. Fill in your paper.
  4. Write your “Story on a Roll”. You may add more characters, if needed. Use the “important object” in the story to further the plot.


  1. boy
  2. girl
  3. man
  4. woman
  5. animal (your choice)
  6. your choice (alien, robot, mythical creature, monster, etc.)


  1. pet or animal (your choice)
  2. teacher
  3. parent or sibling (your choice)
  4. enemy
  5. best friend
  6. your choice (alien, robot, mythical creature, monster, etc.)


  1. at school
  2. in the forest
  3. in or near the ocean
  4. at home or in neighborhood
  5. at the zoo
  6. in space


  1. become friends
  2. have an argument
  3. get lost
  4. save the world
  5. go on a dangerous adventure
  6. find an ancient treasure


  1. book (diary, journal, old book, etc.)
  2. key
  3. envelope marked “top-secret”
  4. secret passageway
  5. magical object (your choice)
  6. your choice


I rolled the die for each story element.

  • Main Character: 5= animal (my choice)
  • Secondary Character: 2= teacher
  • Setting: 2= in the forest
  • Action or Problem: 4= go on a dangerous adventure
  • Important Object: 1= book

Hmmmm. Now I am thinking about story possibilities. I could write about a forest animal (deer, bear?) who discovers a group of people lost in the woods. A teacher and her students went on a field trip, but got lost. The forest animal takes them on a dangerous adventure as he leads the group to safety.  Oh… I need to use a book as an important object. Hmmmm… Perhaps they use a book “Survival Skills” to help them stay safe. Or maybe, the teacher could read a story she brought along to calm the kids down. Perhaps the teacher is reading a story to the kids in the classroom and it is so realistic, they FEEL like they are lost in the woods or the book transports them into the woods. Maybe they need to find the book in order to get home. I need to make sure the forest animal is the central character to the story though…SO MANY CHOICES!

See how the writer’s mind works to generate ideas?

Now, it’s your turn! (Hint: If you are unhappy with one of your rolls, you may roll again.)


Write your first name, age, and a story summary in the comment section below. Happy writing!

headshot smallMichelle Lynn Senters is the Founder and Director of KIDS ARE WRITERS. She spends her days working as a Reading Interventionist and spends her evenings writing books for children and adults. You can learn more about Michelle HERE and at

IMPORTANT: Students, NEVER reveal personal information while commenting. NO last names or contact information. I will delete any comments that contain personal information or comments that are inappropriate or off-topic.

7 thoughts on “Story on a Roll

  1. I’m sorry my five year old little sister grabbed my tablet and began to type when. I told her to give it back she told me she was texting her friends. So “GH” is five year old for what’s up

    • So funny, Raven. I just thought it was Teen Text that I hadn’t learned yet! That might be a good story…. A little sister steals a phone or iPad from their big sister. The little one sends confusing messages to friends and family, throwing everyone into a state of confusion. I think you should write it!

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