Most of us need a prod to get ideas swirling in our heads. Once that happens it is easy to write. Here are a few prods for writing a story. Perhaps you can use them, perhaps you will say "ugh" and come up with your own original way to write a book. No matter which - write - and write out of the love of words.

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Learn to write your own stories...

First, think of a protagonist - a girl, a boy, a dog, a grasshopper - there are millions of things that can be heros and heroines. Even your sneaker.

Your sneaker...

Sneakers and Grasshopper

Now think of where you want to set your story and go there.

Your garden, the front steps of your house or apartment.

The school yard is good or the gym.

Maybe the park in town or in the fire house.

Maybe the park in town or in the fire house.

The park in town...

For me, it's off to the woods or mountains.

Sit there and takes notes about objects, colors, smells and who is around and what they are doing. When you don't know something, for instance, how often fire engines have to be washed and greased and oiled, ask the most reasonable person about it, or look it up in the library.

Before you know it your head will be teeming with ideas.

Give your protagonist a problem to solve. He is hungry. He is lost. He doesn't have a friend.

Give your protagonist a problem

Think about your own problems; can't find my homework; so and so doesn't like me; what am I going to wear to the school dance, do baking soda and vinegar combine?

Use one of your own worries, you will write better if you do.



Think of three sections

The beginning...The middle...The ending

The beginning should set the story and the problem.

The middle should cover the action and the ambience. It should bring in other people or animals that enhance the plot.

And the ending -- Oh, the ending.

This is the most fun.

Suddenly your character in its setting will take over and do things you never thought about before you started writing.

You will be pulled along. Don't think too much about how the story will end until you get there.

In the end you tie up all the threads -- and to your surprise the ending will write itself.

Maybe it will be something you never thought about until you saw all the threads. You'll be surprised and delighted.

I always am.

...the end!


To be a writer you should read, write and talk to people, hear their knowledge, hear their problems. Be a good listener. The rest will come.

Have fun!

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Jean Craighead George with covers of her works
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