Teen Writers: Expand Your Writing by Living in Another World

Hey writers! Imagine you could visit the world of your favorite book or book series. What would that be like? Well, this week, we’re going to explore exactly that!

Imagine A World …

Take the world from your favorite book series and go to that place in your mind. Visualize everything about it. What kind of things might you see walking down the street? Which sounds do you hear? What do you smell? How do different things feel to the touch? Is the natural law of that world (e.g. gravity) the same as ours? If not, how is it different?

There are many examples of the ways fictional worlds can differ from ours. If your favorite book is a sci-fi novel maybe it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. For historical reading, perhaps the story is set in our real world but takes place in a completely different time and culture. Even if it takes place in the present day, the characters of the story could still be fictionalized, which creates an alternate reality of our world. Wherever and whenever your world may be, allow yourself to be transported there entirely before writing.

… And Let’s Go There!

Once you have a visual in mind, now comes the fun part – put yourself into that world. Write from a first-person perspective and imagine what it would be like to suddenly be a part of your favorite book. How would you react? How would the characters react to your presence? Would you befriend those characters or explore on your own? Would they like you or might they be cold and rude?

As a funnier idea of what this might be like, I can’t help but think of Space Jam. If you’ve seen it, there’s a great scene near the beginning when basketball superstar Michael Jordan visits the world of the Looney Tunes. Many of the cartoonish things they consider normal are downright silly to him, because they simply don’t exist in our natural world. Plus, imagine getting a doctor’s physical exam done by Daffy Duck!

Yeah…Mike’s having a weird day.

If the writer of your book does something interesting with their style – for example, if they write in poems – try incorporating those elements into this exercise. Just as you are stepping into your favorite world, your writing is merging with another writer as well. Play around with mixing your two styles together.


Take yourself to another world and then start your journey. If you write yourself into a particular situation, ask yourself what you would do and write about it. You’re more than welcome to go in a different direction but try writing like you’re the you who is reading this prompt!

Most importantly, have fun with it! Be a little silly. Experiment. Do things wrong. Go back and fix them later. Or don’t fix them at all. It’s your journey and you make the decisions. As always, if you want to share what you’ve written or would like some feedback on your work, please submit your stories to teenwriters@tscpl.org. Travel safely and happy writing!

Kody is a Youth Librarian who primarily works with teens. He is also a writer and photographer, and drank several cups of coffee while writing this post.