Narrative Writing Prompt - Message in a Bottle

This narrative writing prompt is a bit of a cliche. It’s the classic message in a bottle story prompt, and it’s fantastic because there are so many different ways in which the story can unfold. The protagonist may find a message from the past, a message from the future, a letter from a dead relative, or perhaps a message from outer space! The possibilities are endless with this story prompt. This one is easy for students to start off with something like, “Billy was walking along the beach…”. Get them to scrap the boring starts and start at the point of action. No one wants to read about Billy walking down the beach. “His heart raced as he read the letter from the bottle…” or “Aliens? this can’t be right…” are much better starters! Brainstorm some story starters for this prompt and get all the ideas up on the board for the children to share!

Story Starter

My hands shook as I held the letter, we had buried in the beach some many years ago. It was a wonder that a piece of paper we had planted in a bottle, cliché as it might sound, was all that I had left. I know she was excited that day which made this moment even more emotional, and the tragedy that had unfolded even more painful. Tears rolled down my cheek as I unraveled our mystery, and I could not help but feel such a burning in my chest and a whole in my heart.

To my shock, the letter in the bottle displayed a message that read:

“I am alive. Follow the signs. Find me.”

narrative writing prompt

Narrative Writing Example

This narrative writing example will captivate your students and give them some wonderful ideas for writing. A letter has been found in a bottle and it reads, “I am alive. Follow the signs. Find me.” The protagonist does indeed follow the signs, and what he finds will shock you…Use these writing example to generate discussion from your class. Ask them how they could use a similar story line or different ways in which they could alter the story’s ending. 

Free Writing Exemplar

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Narrative Writing Tip

It’s always fun to leave your readers wanting more! The key to having a good twist at the end of your story is to plan for it. You should know your entire story before you start writing. The way your story unfolds should give you an opportunity to add a twist at the end. I like to add twists in my stories where characters from the beginning are found at the end in an unsuspecting way. It engages the reader and makes them think!