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Magic Pen Story Starters

By Mark Warner
Age Range: 5 to 11

This page contains a number of story starters which can be used for the Magic Pen activity (or as a stimulus for creative writing).

1) Paul was bored. It was halfway through the summer holidays and he was fed up, so he decided to go exploring. He climbed up to the top of the stairs, when he saw a door which had never been there before. He went in and in the middle of the room was a strange purple box. It had a picture of a magic wand on the front. He slowly lifted the lid, peeked underneath and saw something which would change his life forever...

2) "Base to Captain SkyFighter, Base to Captain SkyFighter. Come in Captain SkyFighter."

"Captain SkyFighter. Come in Captain SkyFighter. Where are you?"

"Captain SkyFighter. This is an urgent message. We are tracking an unidentified object and it is heading straight for you. You need to leave immediately. Hurry!"

In his spacecraft, Captain Skyfighter is fast asleep, unaware of what is fast approaching his ship.

3) There once was a witch called Wanda. Wanda had long green hair, purple eyes and a large wart on the top of her nose. She had made a potion which would make the handsome prince fall in love with her, and she was taking it to him to make him drink it. However, on her way, she tripped over on a stone, and the potion flew out of her hand and it landed in the mouth of...

4) Bobby the Bunny was fast asleep. He was dreaming about laying in a cabbage patch (that was his favourite kind of dream). Just then, in his dream, a huge black cloud drifted in the sky above him. He looked up, and stared at the cloud for a few seconds, when he realised that it wasn't a cloud. It was a...

5) Katie was playing on her computer. Her mum had told her to turn it off because it was nearly dinner time, but Katie was so busy concentrating on the game that she didn't hear. Katie was on the last level of her favourite game, and she was just about to kill the evil wizard Mag so that she could move onto the next level.

The screen flickered.... It flickered again, and it started flashing strange colours. Suddenly Katie was sucked into her computer screen.

When she awoke, she found herself in the the wizard's chambers. SHE WAS ACTUALLY INSIDE THE GAME!

The following story starter was contributed by Melanie Smith...

6) It was Christmas Eve and Lucy Brown was very excited. She hung her stocking up on the wall next to her bed and fell fast asleep. In her dream, she thought of all the lovely things that Santa would bring her. When Lucy woke up, she looked in her stocking and found nothing but a silver box. It was very shiny, with a star on the lid. She opened it to find......

The story starters below were contributed by Daniel Bickford....


Soaring majestically in the warm currents of air, the eagle flexed her mighty wings in a demonstration of power and agility. She enjoyed these early morning flights as the sun began to rise and the earth warmed to the touch of its rays. The air was fresh and clear up here in the mountains - it was going to be a glorious day. As she swooped and swirled idly, she spotted a flicker of movement among the spruce trees below. Folding her wings, she plummeted earthwards, gathering a speed unmatched by any other creature on this mountain. As she neared the swift approaching ground, she stretched and turned, talons extended. What was it that she had spied only seconds ago?


Eddie Morino paced the night-time streets of New York, lost amongst his own thoughts. He did not know where he was walking, he just needed to get out and let his mind and legs wander. He peered through the driving rain, which was so common in New York City at this time of year. He noticed the lights of a thousand cars and the colours of hundreds of neon shop signs, bright, in his face. He saw how the images shimmered and warped in the ever-growing puddles at his feet. It was these images that helped him in times like this. He had been working on a case now for two weeks and his leads seemed to have dried up. The reflections in the puddles changed, took on new shapes as people and cars caused the water to ripple. To Eddie, this change, this new angle, helped him look at the facts in a new way. It all began like this.


The sky parted with a terrible roar as the lightning bolt tore downwards, cleaving a mighty oak in two as if it were a small piece of firewood. Raglen smiled a self-satisfied smile. He had done it. He had finally mastered the Lightning Spell after 9 long months of study and sweat. He had been apprentice mage to Gorlak since he was 5 years old - a promising child, with a great natural ability for magic. The old wizard had spotted him one day, all those years back as he shopped in Tondara Market for ingredients for his spells. The young Raglen had been juggling fruit, but not with his hands - with his mind. Gorlak had not seen such skill in one so young before, and he was determined to teach him to master his gift and join him at his side at the Keep.


At 3-0 down in the Barton and Dengy Inter-School Football Cup match against Millingford, George could see no way back in it for his team, Copsehill Primary. George had been the captain of the school team since the start of the season, but unfortunately, he had not had a very successful reign. Copsehill had never been a strong footballing side. It was true; they always tried their best, but being a school of only 200 pupils (with most of them being too young to play) they just did not have the players to choose from. Suddenly, George found the ball at his feet. "Run on!" shouted his team-mate, Sarjun.


I waited silently, not daring to move, not even to breathe. I crouched behind the door, curling myself into the smallest shape possible, hoping I would not be found. Outside, the floorboards groaned in protest as the creature stalked ever closer towards me. I swallowed a huge lump in my throat, which was threatening to choke me. I waited. Suddenly, it happened.


We had been castaways now for what we reckoned to be about 6 weeks. We had been on a sailing trip around the Pacific, visiting the islands of Tonga, Fiji and Samoa as part of a once in a lifetime adventure holiday. Some adventure. Our boat, The Wayfarer, had scraped against some rocks as we drew into a narrow bay on an island half way into our journey from Samoa to Fiji. The damage did not at first seem too bad, but we later discovered that a tiny leak had sprung near the keel due to the impact. Whilst sailing southwards the next day, we noticed water in the hold and realised we had a major problem. The Wayfarer capsized and sank, but not before we managed to release and climb into the lifeboat. In all the confusion, we lost track of the captain (the only adult on the trip) and so far we have not seen even a trace of him. The lifeboat drifted haphazardly for the remainder of that day and well into the night, before we eventually struck land. Tired, cold and hungry, we gathered up the supplies we had and set out to explore the island - our new home.


"Ouch! What was that for?" " I just felt like it, ok?" Stibbs had always been that way - always picking on the rest of us for no reason whatsoever. He liked to think he was hard, but I knew differently, I knew his secret. We had lived next door but one to each other since we were both four years old. Now, at eleven and in the final term of Year 6 at Newfields, I was looking forward to moving up to the Comprehensive. If only Stubbs was in a different form. Still, like I said, I knew his secret.

Included are three story openings created by Craig Tilstone. They are best used as a stimulus for the Year 6 Term 2 Text level 11 work about flashback stories.

  • I looked around me - dazed, confused. Where was I? More importantly, who was I? I felt a bump on the top of my head, and there was blood on the floor. A large parcel lay a few feet in front of me. Seeing the parcel triggered off something in my mind, and a memory started to unfold, like a film I'd never seen before...
  • So here I am, microphone in hand, about to sing in front of 100 million people across the world. The cameras are on me, and the audience has fallen silent in anticipation. How did this happen, you ask? How did I, Katie Skipton - an ordinary 11-year-old schoolgirl just a couple of days ago - get to become an overnight superstar? Glad you asked. Sit back, relax, and let me tell you about the craziest day of my entire life...
  • He pointed the gun squarely at my head. "Your last chance to tell me how and where you came across the bag of diamonds. Tell me or I'll pull the trigger." "Okay, okay, just - just put the gun down." I sighed a long, thoughtful sigh as I reluctantly began my story. "Here goes...It all started this morning when I was driving to work..."

Here's another suggestion from 'Acruisie':

I glanced back as I ran, and saw the castle in flames. It looked radiant and beautiful, but it was on fire. What had I done? An arrow whizzed past my ears, meant to hit me. People were after me, they knew it was me. I had destroyed my own kingdom, killed it all. I kept running and saw a figure up ahead...

A starter from 'A 6th grade student':

We ran though the woods as fast as we could. I could hear Ellie, my little sister, panting from running so long. "Are you okay?" I asked her, just as I snagged my foot on a tree root. I could hear them now. They were gaining on us. Ellie started to cry. "NO! stop crying!" Well, I couldn't blame her. She's only 4. Now they were only about 16 feet away...

'The Ideas Person' has also suggested this starter:

The sunlight was blinding as it cascaded onto the ground, flooding the courtyard with light. A figure could be seen in the distance, wearing the most beautiful gown and holding a trunk in hand. I watched as Princess Esmerelda ran out of the castle gates, over the drawbridge and to her freedom. The king followed her out into the courtyard and looked around desperately. Then, he spotted me. "You, boy! Where did my daughter go?"

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