A photograph of several young students at the Louvre Museum. They are sitting and sketching the paintings that are looking at on the walls surrounding them.

Source: Kids drawing their favorite Louvre paintings, Chris Waits, Wikimedia

If you were to visit the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, you would see the largest collection of European art in the world. You would also notice student artists standing behind easels copying masterpieces by Caravaggio, El Greco, and Leonardo Da Vinci. The Louvre grants them permission to replicate the masterpieces, with one stipulation: The copy cannot be the same size as the original.

By imitating masters, you can also learn how to write literary text. According to author Stephen King, “[Imitating] good writing teaches the learning writer about style, graceful narration, plot development, and the creation of believable characters.”

The master that you will learn from in this writing lesson is Anton Chekhov, who many believe is the greatest short story writer of all time. You will read his story “The Boys” while thinking imaginatively about how to create your own story.

In this lesson, you will consider a conflict that occurred when you visited a friend or relative, or when someone visited you. As you do so, you should abide by the stipulation of the Louvre by thinking about how your story will be different from the master you study.