Useful Writing Tips

DECIDE ON A GENRE

Decide what sort of story you are going to write: fantasy, adventure, horror, or a story about everyday life. We don’t mind the type of story so long as it is connected with school and you keep to the competition rules about length.

Make A PLAN

Before you start writing, plan out your story, thinking about the setting, the characters, main events and how you want the story to end. REMEMBER TO GIVE YOUR STORY A TITLE.

BEGINNING

There are three ways to start a story: 1. With dialogue 2. With description 3. With action. Look at how some of your favourite authors begin their stories. See which style you prefer.

CHARACTERS

With short stories, it can be confusing if you have too many characters. A maximum of four is usually best.

DIALOGUE

Conversations add life to stories but check to make sure they always help reveal the personality of the character or move the plot along.

WORDS

Try to use different words to start your sentences. Also, vary the link words you use – it’s boring if you keep repeating ‘then’ or ‘and’. Using a variety of words will make your story more interesting. These are things you can go back and improve when you are going through your story.

SENTENCES

Make your sentences different lengths. Using short and long sentences makes your writing more interesting.

ENDING

Tie up any loose ends and try not to end your story too suddenly. Your story should end in a way that is satisfying for the reader.

REVISION

Read and re-read your story before you make your final submissions.

LENGTH

Stories must be between 500 and 1000 words long.

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