Planning a Story

It’s said that we all have one story or novel inside us just waiting to be written. However, the writing process isn’t always easy for most people, especially children who are always learning new vocabulary and sentence structures.

Why is planning a story important?

  • It provides a focussed list of things you want to write about.
  • It will help the narrative of the story flow easily.
  • It will stop you from getting stuck.
  • You can see your ideas written down and work out if your story makes sense.
  • You can keep track of your characters.
  • You can work out if your ending is possible before you write loads of content.

Step 1 of planning a story: Condense your plot into just one sentence

You can ask your class to start by writing a one-sentence summary of their story.

It doesn’t matter much at this point about how many characters you’ll write about or what their names will be. You could use a general term like ‘a professional dog walker’ in your sentence.

The important part is that you understand your goal and can keep it in mind as you go through the writing process.

For example;

‘A dog walker learns one of the dogs has gone missing, so embarks on a quest to find them, meeting many different people and animals along the way.’

Step 2 of planning a story: Describe the story

Now you can expand on step one by filling in the details. A great way to structure this is to split the story into three, which becomes the plot. The three sections are known as the following;

  1. Beginning
  2. Middle and,
  3. End

The beginning must be super exciting and keep people engaged in the story and want to discover what happens. This is where you’ll introduce your main characters and set the scene and time of the story.

The middle of the story is used to develop the themes and reveal more about your characters. It’s usually where lots of exciting things happen in the plot too.

Some popular themes in children’s books include;

  • Courage
  • Friendship
  • Belonging
  • Family
  • Growing up
  • Anger

Step 3 of planning a story: Characters

It would help if you considered who will be in your story and ensured they are exciting and valuable to the plot. For example, there’s no point in going into detail about your character’s next-door neighbor if they only say hello to your main character once and don’t come back into the story.

Choose your Reaction!