In Girls Save the World in This One, by Ash Parsons, June Blue and her friends find themselves trying to survive an actual zombie invasion while at a fan con for their favorite zombie television show Human Wasteland.


In one scene, June finds herself isolated with her favorite character on the show.


Clay Clarke, the army ranger’s surrogate son. Clay is played by Hunter Sterling, an actor only a year older than me. Which I know, because I looked it up. Like I said, I’m a mega-fan. (15)


And though zombies are trying to kill her, she’s having a fan-girl moment.


Hunter Sterling is sitting right there.

Hunter Sterling basically just saved me.

I was doing okay without Hunter Sterling, more or less. But I’m appreciative, because Hunter Sterling is apparently an all-around good guy. Yay!

Look! It’s Hunter Sterling. (284)


Fanfiction is a booming genre on the Internet, but in a twist on that, instead of simply creating stories with characters created by others, students can borrow inspiration from Ash Parsons and deepen their understanding of character development by writing themselves into a scene from their own favorite television show or movie.

Remind students about how authors develop characters by having them complete an A SODA character development of themselves that they will use to build their scene.







What the Author says about the character.

What the character Says.

What Other characters say about the character.

Physical Description of the character.

What Actions the character takes.

Student responses

Student responses

Student responses

Student responses

Student responses


Using their responses from the A SODA organizer, have students craft a scene where they write themselves as a character into their favorite show or movie. Teachers may choose to have students write their scene in prose, as they would see in a novel, or choose to have students explore the form of the genre and write their scene in the script format for television shows or movies. They can find examples here.


Teachers can determine the number of character development elements they want students to include or even have them include stage directions that incorporate character development elements.  


Download the lesson below in a convenient pdf to print or save!



Michael Méndez Guevara is a former high school journalism and English teacher who spent his time in the classroom helping students see themselves as writers and fall in love with reading through the world of young adult literature. As an educational sales consultant with Perfection Learning®, Michael works with teachers and schools on improving their literacy instruction and providing resources to help students achieve academic success. He has taught elementary school, middle school, high school, has worked as a district level leader, and served on the Texas state standards revision committee that developed the state’s current literacy standards. He is the father of three adult sons, the youngest a student at the University of Kansas—Rock Chalk! Michael is working on a professional development book for literacy educators and currently has agents reading the manuscript of his young adult novel  The Closest Thing to a Normal Life. When he's not reading, writing, or running, Michael is fully committed to watching as much Law & Order as possible.