How to Write a Story!

How to Write a Story!

How to Write a Story! 1000 668 Janus Education
You had a great idea for your book. You managed to start a story. Yes, one paragraph …. 50 words …. then you’re stuck. How to go on? You think for a while …. Then you give up. Sounds familiar?
Don’t worry. This happens to seasoned writers as well. So what can you do?


Let’s take this step-by-step.

STEP 1

There are 1,001 things you could write about. In the Young Author Scheme, we work on 7 genres: Magic & Fantasy; Ghosts & Ghouls; Science Fiction; Adventure & Mystery; Asian Tales; Animal Tales; and Heartwarmers. You can read e-books on of different genres in our very own e-published books when you visit http://www.catherinekhoo.sg/estore.

Identifying your genre is important. Each genre has its own specific key features. Let’s say, for example, you like to read Geronimo Stilton and yes, you wish to pursue an Adventure & Mystery story. By all means, do it!

STEP 2

You have to decide what the message is in your story. Every story has a message (or messages). If you have followed our 3 Young Author Award stories, you will be able to pick out several strong messages. What is the message in The Last Wolf? Family bonding, loyalty as when Storm, our protagonist, unites his family to ward off the dragons), courage, clearly evident in his willpower to live and lead the dragons; and the most universal theme: good triumphs over evil.

What about The Pill of Confidence? It’s a Heartwarmer, right? What’s the message? When Shihui conceptualized the story, she was very clear that her story was about overcoming the odds. It was about little Jonah growing up and learning to let go. A pretty mature theme, right? But she managed to weave in that into her story which finally won their third place in the Young Author Award.

STEP 3

Plan your story. Remember the essential ingredients of any story. When coaching any writer, whether he is writing a 300-word narrative or a 5,000- word story, he has to be clear of these elements in his story. Let’s look at Ian Choo’s story. Ian’s story was about war.
There are lots of stories written about the war. Ian was only 10 when he wrote
Death and Life. I expected, like the many 10 to 12 year olds I mentored who wrote about war, that I was all about violence and bloodshed. But he gave a story that was centred on bravery and yes, bonding between a grandfather and the grandson he seldom sees. Remember what I said about the message in your story? Test it out on Ian’s story.

And how did he plan out his story? Why don’t you try to work it out on a model I often use when I teach story crafting. Be very clear about these elements:

STEP 3

Plan your story. Remember the essential ingredients of any story. When coaching any writer, whether he is writing a 300-word narrative or a 5,000- word story, he has to be clear of these elements in his story. Let’s look at Ian Choo’s story. Ian’s story was about war.
There are lots of stories written about the war. Ian was only 10 when he wrote
Death and Life. I expected, like the many 10 to 12 year olds I mentored who wrote about war, that I was all about violence and bloodshed. But he gave a story that was centred on bravery and yes, bonding between a grandfather and the grandson he seldom sees. Remember what I said about the message in your story? Test it out on Ian’s story.

And how did he plan out his story? Why don’t you try to work it out on a model I often use when I teach story crafting. Be very clear about these elements:

Setting: Your reader must know where your story happens. Good writers develop their settings till they see every detail so clearly in their minds. For first-time authors, have only two main settings.

People: Who is this story about? You must know. Who is the hero and yes, the villain? Villian does not mean that he is evil. He could be the bully that did not get attention at home. Or he could be, as in Ian’s story, not the two soldiers …. But an event. War creates enemies of good friends,don’t you think so?

Aim/Action: This works with the message in the story. If the message is about bravery and friendship, the aim then is to bring this out in the story through what’s happening (action) in the story. That’s how a story
evolves.

Climax: What is the climax in any story? It’s when the hero (note: it’s not the villain!) makes a decision that would affect his life and the lives around him. Where do you think is the climax in Death and Life? You figure it out!

Ending: It’s important for your reader to feel satisfied when he has finished with your story. Yes, you can leave them hanging, but for first-time authors, it might be better to work in an ending that would synch well with your message. So if the story is about bravery, try to end it with
the hero receiving a commendation! This sits well with your readers …..
remember you are writing for your reader!

Writing a great story is hard work, but if you have the three rules all sorted out, you are on your way!

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