At Innovative Literacy, Students learned how to write a novel and a wrote novels using the magic mirror novel writing prompts

Novel Writing Prompts for the Magic Mirror Story

If you are interested in teaching your students how to write a novel using writing prompts, the Magic Mirror prompts might be useful for you to use. While the task might seem intimidating, two of my 5th-grade students completed the creative writing prompts on their own during their free time. If you would like more information about how to teach with the prompts, you can visit my page here where I explain some of the difficulties and how hints on how to motivate the students.

The plot of the Story

The plot is included in the novel writing prompts. It centers around a magical mirror that gives the hero in their novel some type of power. It begins when a substitute teacher brings a mirror to the fall festival at school on her last day. The students are wearing Halloween costumes when they look into the mirror.

The next day, they find out that they have some type of magical power. Unfortunately, one of their friends was cursed by the mirror instead. Whatever they saw when they looked in the mirror is what happened. If they were dressed as a witch, they might gain the powers of a witch. If they gazed into the mirror and noticed how short they looked, they might start getting shorter and shorter each day.

The friends try to find the substitute teacher and the mirror to break the curse. Other students from their school also received powers, and don’t want to lose them. These students try to stop the hero and the hero’s friends from getting to the mirror. Eventually, the hero is able to break the curse on the student.


If you would like to see a video of a local news station interviewing some of my middle school students who completed the Magic Mirror novel writing prompts, please visit ArkansasMatters.Com.


To motivate the students, I wrote a novella using the Magic Mirror prompts as well. Please consider purchasing a copy so I can continue buying copies of my students’ books to give to their parents. You can find my book on Amazon Kindle. 


Common Core Standards For Novel Writing Prompts

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Chapter 1: Everything is Normal

The hero arrives at the School Fall Festival for games and candy while wearing a costume. The hero, friends, and enemies will get powers based on the costumes they are wearing. Describe the costume the hero is wearing. Also, describe the school. Is it loud and colorful? Is it new or old?

The hero leaves his/her family in search of his/her friends. He/She sees the group of students who will be the bad guys in the book. Describe how he/she sees some students he/she doesn’t like and what costumes those students are wearing.

The hero sees his friends and goes to join them. These friends will get powers based on the costumes they wear. Also, don’t forget one of the friends will be cursed by the mirror. Describe the costumes the friends are wearing. Include their friends’ names as well.

The hero and his/her friends go to different rooms to play games and get candy. Describe what they do.  Are they bored or excited? What type of candy or prizes do they get?

The friends talk the hero into visiting the room of the long-term substitute teacher. Describe how they talk about the teacher being creepy or scary. What type of teacher was the substitute? Was the teacher nice or mean? Was the teacher great at teaching or terrible? Why do the students think so?

Chapter 2: Herald of Change

The hero and his friends go into the substitute’s room. Describe the teacher. Also, describe the teacher’s classroom. Is it neat or messy? Are there other students there, such as the students the friends did not like?

Since it is the substitute’s last day at the school, he/she is going to let them look into a very special mirror. The substitute takes them to the back of the class where a mirror is standing. Describe what the mirror looks like and how the mirror seems strange in some way.

The substitute tells the students to look deeply into the mirror and think about how they look. Describe the hero watching the others step forward and look into the mirror. Does the teacher tell them to say any magic words, and if so, what were the words they said? Example: Mirror, Mirror in front of me, turn me into what  I want now see

The hero steps forward and stares into the mirror.  Describe how the hero imagines having powers similar to those of the costume he/she is wearing.

The hero and his/her friends go to other classes for games and candy before it is time to go home. The hero starts to feel tired.  Describe the ride home. Have the hero be so tired he/she falls asleep without taking off his/her costume.

Chapter 3: Bestowing the Gift

The hero finds out he/she has some type of power when he/she wakes up. Describe how the hero finds out he/she has powers. Does he/she accidentally break something with their powers?

The hero practices using the power, trying to figure out what he/she can do and can’t do. Describe how the hero practices with the power. What does he/she do? Remember, don’t make the power too strong.

The hero wonders where he/she got the power from and then remembers the mirror and wonders if his/her friends also gained powers.  Describe how your hero tries to figure out where he/she got the power from and if anyone else gained any powers.

The hero goes to school.  The hero is tempted to show his/her power to everyone but decides not to. Give the hero a reason why they are keeping their power secret from everyone except his/her friends.

The hero meets with his friends before school starts.  They show each other the powers they gained. Describe the friends showing each other their powers.

Chapter 4: Call to Adventure

One of the friends didn’t come to school today.  Describe the conversation in which the friends talk about the student who didn’t come to school. They are worried about him/her. This is the cursed friend.

The friends decide they will visit him as soon as school is over. Describe the conversation in which the friends discuss how they will get there, such as walking or taking the bus.

The hero worries throughout the day.  Describe how the hero wonders if maybe instead of getting a power, something bad happened instead to the absent student.

The group arrives at the absent friend’s house.  They go to the friend’s room. Maybe include that the parents seem a little worried.

They see their friend.  The friend was affected by the mirror as well.  Unfortunately, he/she was affected badly, perhaps shrinking in size because he/she thought he/she looked short.

Chapter 5: Meeting the Mentor

The next morning, everyone tries to find where the substitute went, but they discover nothing. Describe who they talk to and what they do to find where the substitute teacher went.

They are almost out of hope when a strange old man arrives at the school also looking for the substitute. Describe what the strange old man looks like and how they meet him.

They meet the strange old man and he says he will help them. He wants to find the substitute as well because he has been cursed as well. The old man will try to tell them when where she is the next day. Describe the conversation the students have with the old man. What does he say to them? How is he cursed? How will he help them?

After the old man leaves, they talk about what to do until then. They decide to go visit the friend again to see if he is better. Describe the conversation the friends have after the old man leaves.

They go to the friend’s house again to check up on him. The parents are really worried now. Describe the trip to the friend’s house, such as how they get there. Also, describe how the parents look. Are they making phone calls or just look worried? How do the parents act towards them?

Chapter 6: Preparing for the Journey

They go to the friend’s room and find out their friend is even worse than before. How did he get worse? What do they see? What do they feel?

They promise to help the friend somehow. Describe the conversation where they agree that they have to do something to help the friend.

The friends leave the house of the friend and meet again outside to talk. Describe how they feel about what has happened to their friend. They feel compelled to do something to help.

Each friend says what they will do, such as getting money, food, or someone to drive them. They will need to go to where the substitute is. Describe the conversation where they discuss what they will do to get ready for the journey.

The hero goes home and does his/her part to get ready for the journey the next day. Describe what does the hero does? How does the hero get home? What will the hero do to get ready for the journey?

Chapter 7: The Journey Begins

The friends meet the old man the next day. The old man tells them where the substitute went. Describe the conversation in which he tells them where the substitute moved to? How do they react?

The friends are worried their parents will be very upset with them. Describe what they told their parents they would be doing so the parents would not be worried. Did they say they were spending the night with a friend?

The friends start their journey. Something happens that they have to overcome. Describe the trip. Was it long and boring? Did they see anything interesting? Also include what happens while they are driving, such as the car breaking down or getting a flat tire. How do they solve the problem?

Something else happens either before they get to where they are going or as they get to their destination. Describe the problem that occurs, such as the car overheating or another flat tire. The friends realize this is more than just chance and someone is trying to stop them.

The friends deal with the problem and are watching for anything else to happen. Describe how the friends deal with the new problem. Perhaps have them talk about what happened.

Chapter 8: Trials of Resolve

The friends reach their destination. While they are stopping for a rest, food, or bathroom break, they see another student from their school. The student was one of the students the hero didn’t like in Chapter 1. Describe why they stopped. Where did they stop? Which student did the students see?

The other student tells the friends to leave. Describe the conversation where the friends are warned to stop looking for the mirror. Does the other student try to scare them away?

The friends are almost at the building where the substitute is staying when several students from their school attack them. There is a big fight. Describe the fight.

One of the friends is injured as the fight ends. Who is injured and how? Describe how the friend was hurt. Why don’t they go to a hospital?

The friends try to come up with a plan to deal with the other students from their school. After they have a plan, they rest for the night. Describe the plan the students come up with. Where do they stay for the night?

Chapter 9: The Darkest Hour

During the night, the other students attack them again. While they are able to drive off the other students because they had a plan, one of the friends was kidnapped. Describe the new fight. Which friend was kidnapped?

The friends track down the other students from their school to an old abandoned building. Describe how they found the other students to rescue their friend. Then describe what the building looks like from the outside.

The friends search the building until they go down into the basement and find the other students. Describe what the inside of the building looks like as they go through it. Do they see their friend? Is the kidnapped friend really their friend or did the kidnapped friend betray them?

They have a really big fight again. Another friend is injured. Describe the fight. Who gets hurt this time and how?

The friends split up. The ones who are hurt go home to heal while one friend continues with the hero. Describe what they do. Who leaves and who stays? Why?

Chapter 10: Confronting Evil

The hero thinks about where to find the mirror. Describe how the hero knew where to go and how they got there. For instance, did one of the other students drop a note with the location of the mirror?

The hero goes to where the substitute has taken the mirror. Describe how the hero got to the place where the mirror was located.

The hero cautiously enters the building where the mirror is located. Describe the hero sneaking into the building and what it looks like.

The hero finds the substitute getting ready to take the mirror somewhere new. The hero demands to know why the substitute did what he/she did. Describe the conversation they have.

The hero is about to ask how to reverse the curse when another student steps forward. This student is very scary to the hero for some reason. Describe the student who shows up. Was the hero scared because the other student had changed into something he/she was scared of, such as a bug? Did they just look mean and frightening looking?

Chapter 11: The Final Fight

The hero and the other student fight while the mirror is packed up by the substitute. Describe the fight. While the hero might start off winning, the hero soon finds out he/she is going to lose.

The hero is about to lose when a friend comes in to save the day. Unfortunately, this save also ends up breaking the mirror. Describe how one of the hero’s friends had followed the hero and saved the hero at the last minute. Describe how the mirror gets broken.

The hero and the friend are able to hold off the other student long enough to grab a big piece of the mirror. Describe how the hero picks up a piece of mirror and run away from the fight with the friend.

The hero and friend escape with their prize. Describe how they escape from the other student.

The hero and friend head back to the cursed friend’s home. Describe how they got to the cursed friend’s home.

Chapter 12: Back Home Again

The hero goes to see the cursed friend. Everyone is around the bed of that friend, looking sad and worried. Describe how everyone looks.

The hero realizes that breaking the mirror did not break the curse. He/She hopes that the mirror will still be able to do something, even if it is only a broken piece. Describe how the hero shows the mirror to the friend and tries to talk the cursed friend into seeing what he/she wants to see instead of what is really in the mirror. For example, “Look at the mirror. I see a friend I don’t want to lose. I don’t see height. I see a big heart.”

The friend seems to change, and the curse breaks. Everyone celebrates the breaking of the curse. Describe the curse breaking and how happy everyone acts.

The friends wonder if they will keep their power, or if they will slowly lose their powers now that the mirror has been broken. Describe the conversation the students have together.

The friends decide what to do with the mirror piece. Do they break it completely, or hide it somewhere? Finally, everyone goes back home. Describe the conversation the friends have.

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