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Story Writing Tips

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Plan Your Story

Always plan your story before you begin to write. Writing a story is like going on a long journey - you wouldn't just set off without knowing where you were going! There are lots of different ways to plan a story but you should think about your characters, your setting, a good beginning, an interesting and exciting middle section and an original ending.


Good Beginnings

A good beginning to your story is SO important. You should try to grab your reader's attention and make them want to find out what happens next. I often use dialogue to open my stories as this immediately introduces the characters. Below is the opening from Beneath the Bombers' Moon:

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    'Now pay attention children. Believe me - your lives could depend on it!'

    Mr Major banged on the huge, wooden teacher's desk with the flat of his hand to ensure that all of the thirty-eight children in his Class 7 at St. Gregory's Primary School were focused on his every word.

    'Your gas mask should be in your box directly in front of you on your desktop. Do NOT open your boxes until I instruct you to do so!'


Too many characters make your story confusing.You should stick to two or three main characters and introduce other characters were needed. It is a good idea to make your main characters different.


For example, one could be really grumpy and bad tempered while another could be permanently happy and cheerful. Make a few notes about each character before you begin to write. Also, try to picture your main characters in your mind. A good way to make your story exciting is to put your characters in trouble and then think how each character would react in the situation.

The two characters shown in the picture are Professor Nutter and his nephew Nigel from Professor Nutter and the Siren's Wail.


You should not just think of setting as a place - setting can also be a time. Your story may be set in the middle of a freezing cold winter or a heatwave in summer. This can help to create an atmosphere through the description you can include. Your story might begin in a graveyard at midnight!


Of course, your story could be set in the past or in the future. One of my books, The Eye of the Storm, is set in Victorian times. Tom Travis - Time Traveller visits The Great Fire of London! Some of the best writers use setting to great effect. Think of Hogwarts in Harry Potter, or the wonderful mystic land of Narnia created by C.S. Lewis.

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