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Share a Story Month Blog: A guide to helping children write a good story

Taking those first steps towards writing a story can be fun, but it can also be a challenging activity. However, encouraging children to write a story of their own can give them an enormous confidence boost. As some of you may know, this month is National Share a Story Month, an annual event celebrating the power of story writing and storytelling. The theme for this year is ‘The Planet we Share.’ In light of this, we want to encourage all our young people to have a go at writing their very own stories. This blog will go through six great tips for writing an exciting story.

Grab your pen and paper and let’s take a look at our first tip.

 

Finding your best idea

The most challenging thing about writing a story is finding a story. The truth is ideas are all around us; look around you, have your child watch, and listen to see if they can get inspiration. Your child can also write a story based on life experiences, such as their first school day, or even the unforgettable moment of losing their first tooth.  

 

Developing your main character

The best stories have the most unique characters. They may have a funny habit, look different or they may even talk differently from everyone else. Ask your child what’s different or special about their character? Maybe it’s a superhero who can’t fly or a princess who lives in a cave. To help you, we’ve put together a few character questions. Let’s see how much your child knows about the character:

1.       What does your character want?

2.       What is their best/ worst habit?

3.       How do they speak? (high/low volume, accent, different language)

4.       What makes your character happy?

5.       What is one thing your character loves the most?

 

Start planning

All good stories need a framework, even if it is as simple as ‘the beginning, the middle, the end.’ Although the ending may change along the way, your child will have an idea of what the ending might look before they even begin writing. Why not talk it through with them and jot down some basic notes to help them keep on track. If they are struggling, a good place to start is by reading books together. Ask your child to make predictions about how the story will end. A child’s alternative ending may become a great material for their own story.

 

Identify the problem

Every story has a conflict of some sort. To help your child understand the concept of conflict, re-read some of their favourite books. Help them recognise when a conflict arises and encourage them to create one for their own story. It could be a villain, an emotion, or it could even be a mystery. They can even introduce a new character to shake things up!

 

The turning point

The turning point helps make the story more interesting. For example, it can be the moment where a character discovers a hidden superpower, or a surprise that throws the whole story into a spin. Ask your child to think of something that the reader would least expect. Remember, it doesn’t always have to make sense, this is your child’s time to unleash their imagination!

 

The finale

A good story doesn’t finish without a resolution. Challenge your child to link the conflict with the turning point to create a meaningful resolution. A satisfying ending is a perfect way to finish a story. What happened to the characters once their conflict became resolved? Did they learn an important lesson as a result?

Once they’ve got all of these ideas in place, they can make a start writing their exciting story. By planning and writing a story of their own, they are well on the way to becoming a better writer.

 

List of story starters for children:

1.       Your character is out taking a walk when he/she sees a dog that…

2.       Your character finally gets to take an exciting holiday at the beach. On the shore, he/she finds…

3.       One night, your character wakes up from an especially realistic dream. In the dream, he/she was…

4.       The postman came and delivered a box so big it couldn’t get through the door Your character opens it and…

5.       The door to the basement is always locked, but your character finds the key and goes to explore when…

Levy Dalin