Future Learn: Start Writing Fiction: Exercise 1

The challenge:

Write a paragraph (50 to 100 words) containing one fact and three fictitious elements. You can write about yourself, about your interests, about history – about anything you like. Then try the reverse – write a paragraph containing three facts and one fictitious element.


My mother always said that enduring an unusual name would build character, which is why I’m known as Max even though I’m female. My brother fared even less well, being dubbed Bonzo, and under this influence my sister eventually came to name her own children Denver (a girl) and Hendrix (a boy).

I grew up on a council estate in the midlands where I was lucky enough to attend one of the best, most forward thinking primary schools around in the late 70s. It was just as well, because my senior school left a lot to be desired, what with being rebuilt around us and staffed by teachers who ranged from astounding to dire in their skills. Going to school on a building site is not an ideal situation, but if generations beyond my own were to see school buildings without holes in the floor, leaking walls and dangerous staircases, somebody had to endure it. I often left home in the morning and found somewhere better than school to be, much to my parents’ chagrin.