Children love hearing stories, but when it comes to writing one as a part of an assignment they falter. Of course, one can understand that the writing skills of children cannot equal to that of a professional writer. However, through story writing the skill level can be enhanced a great deal and the following steps will help kids plan for a great story that can improve confidence about writing.
Step – 1: Creation of ideas
The most difficult aspect is to evoke the creative side of the child and expect them to write something new. Kids, do know that every author takes ideas from one source or another. There is nothing wrong in looking at a source to gain inspiration. However, after finding the inspiration, one has to implement the ideas in an own way without copying the same plot. The elements, quotes, occurrences, real life experiences, etc. are all great sources to gain ideas.
“Club the ideas to develop the plot in a cohesive manner.”
Step – 2: Sketching the basics
A good story has a few basics to cover such as a pleasant character, the character has a problem, the character tries to solve the problem and so on. This is the basic structure of any story and adding effective details can help to build up the greatness of the character.
“Never forget the conflict and sway from the original problem that gives the character a great strength and persona.”
Step – 3: Characters and the conflict
The main character has to be able yet unaware of his capabilities till the right time comes. The problem has to in a grandiose scale; unless, the plot is meant to generate fun rather than emotions. The protagonist must prevent the villain from reaching the goals.
The plot should have other characters like villains, mentors, allies, friends, jokers, etc. who should act according to the plot and at the same time justify their inclusion or creation. Further, these characters can be combined like a friend who is a joker also, mentor who is revealed as a villain, etc. which would increase the strength of the plot.
“Never include a character for the liking of it, include one if it has weight and effect on the entire plot even in the minutest of percentage.”
A conflict should be as deep as possible. So, the strength of the story will increase depending on the intensity of the conflict. Moreover, the conflict shouldn’t be single and there should be hard obstacles that prevent the protagonist in reaching his goal. There are mainly three types of conflicts –
- Human vs. Human
- Human vs. Nature
All these provide the opportunity to frame the ultimate battle of emotions that can be observed from the main character and the surrounding developments as well. The conflicts can be combined depending on their need and no matter how much intense the conflict is, it should be within the range of the main character’s ability to solve it; unless, the story is a tragedy.
Step – 4: The plot
After carefully considering the characters and conflicts, it is time to move forward to the plot. It has to move as a chain of events that come under the rule of ‘cause and effect’. The actions of the characters should move the plot forward in a compelling manner. The interest can be generated by the inclusion of suspense scenes, adventure scenes, big events, tying the loose ends, etc.
“A plot can be simple or complex, but it has to be justifiable and the conclusion has to fit with every previous action.”
Step – 5: Planning the scenes
Before planning the scenes, a kid has to understand about transition. It plays a major role in transferring the connections established in one scene to another.
“Every scene should have a beginning, middle and an end.”
The scenes can be written in a continuous process or can be split into different narrations portraying different characters or timelines or events. Remember that all the major events should be described at length without compromising on detail.
Dialogues play a prominent role in revealing the intention of characters and bring the scenes to life. For kids, a dialogue can fill up the space on a page and can be attractive if the dialogue is well written. NEVER describe an important action in the form of a dialogue as it can decrease the effectiveness of the plot.
“Dialogues are a great way to convey the reader about the characteristics of an individual.”
The setting is a catalyst to improve the atmosphere of a plot. It helps to avoid many floating scenes making the story appear in a compact manner. So, deciding a setting for the plot can help to use even the minutest of details to great effect.
Step – 6: Writing the story
“Never write the story without proper planning.”
The kid should understand the characters, conflicts, opening, scenes, etc. before drafting the story. Include every aspect thought before as forgetting even a simple detail can harm the greatness of the plot. The draft becomes important for this aspect only, as the kid can write down everything he thought of previously and can edit the plot accordingly before writing it down on paper. Take time is composing every scene and don’t worry about the word count. A well-written story will always get the recognition it deserves and exceeding the word count or unable to reach the word count is not a crime. Remember that one can be as extensive as Leo Tolstoy or as simple as Ernest Hemingway, in the end it all depends on the narrative skills.
Step – 7: Revision
All kinds of writers involved in novel writing, essay writing, dissertation writing, journal writing or even blog writing needs revision. A perfect content only evolves after careful examination of the draft and slicing down parts that feel too long or unnecessary. It is common to any writer to write something at the moment and consider it as great; but, after a second time reading the scene or paragraph may not look as effective.
“Proofread the story to avoid grammatical and spelling mistakes.”
The kids can take the help of parents or experts to proofread the story and remove any mistakes. This would make sure the story will be great to read without common pauses as the reader identified one mistake or the other.
So, children! Take heed of all the valid points mentioned here before attempting a story. They are difficult to follow; but, once you get hold of these seven steps the story will be a great hit. All it requires is concentration, imagination and patience. The three ingredients will ensure the story is admired by the reader and it will be a great success.
Blogger and art enthusiast, working in Wipro.