How To Start Writing A Story For Beginners – There are many great ways for students to write narrative hooks, but many students need to learn a pattern they can follow. I want to cover five ways to write Hooks with high school students.
For reference, have students make cards that explain five ways to write a narrative hook. A printable file for this activity is included in the PDF file.
- 1 How To Start Writing A Story For Beginners
- 2 Joan Lowery Nixon Quote: “work Extra Hard On The Beginning Of Your Story, So It Snares Reader’s Instantly. And Know How You’re Going To End Your S…”
- 3 Teach K12 Novel Writing: Where To Start
- 4 Confusing Sentences That Actually Make Sense
- 5 Dystopian Writing Prompts & Story Ideas
- 6 Creative Writing Prompts For Kids And Teens, Grades 3 7: A Fun Story Starters Workbook For Kids
How To Start Writing A Story For Beginners
These five story links are different beginnings of the same story. They show five ways to start a story. Read and discuss each one.
Plan Your Story
“Hurry or you’ll be late!” I called my mother from downstairs. “Today is a day when I want to be punctual.” If I had known what was going to happen that day, I would have stayed in bed.
Have you ever had a day where you wish you had stayed in bed? Running to catch the bus on what seemed like a perfectly normal day, I had no idea what was in store for me.
The sun was warm on my back as I ran towards my waiting yellow school bus. As I settled into the worn leather seat, the friendly voices of other children welcomed me. My face was full of confidence and satisfaction. The bus roared down the road and I was on my way to one of the worst days of my life.
Children as young as 10 have been known to die from shock. It can cause the brain to burst and the heart to stop. These facts ran through my mind as I stood blankly in front of my fifth grade classmates. I wish I was in bed!
Joan Lowery Nixon Quote: “work Extra Hard On The Beginning Of Your Story, So It Snares Reader’s Instantly. And Know How You’re Going To End Your S…”
“Buzzzzzzzz!” The alarm clock buzzed in my ears as I tried to wake up. At first I sat upright in bed. Today was an important day and we had to arrive on time.
Please take the literature you used in class. Have students rewrite the opening paragraph using a variety of methods. Sound effects are always easiest for students, so I usually start with these. Aspiring autobiographers often email us asking ‘How can I write my own story?’ Try these seven life writing tips:
There are many ways to approach life writing. You can follow a nonfiction approach and put dates, facts and memories as close to the events as possible.
Another option is to fictionalize and blur the line between fact and fiction. This approach to life writing can be useful when:
Writing Exercise: Start At The End
Barthes alternates between fragments written in the third person and captioned photographs of his childhood. For example, in a short story entitled ‘Pride’ he wrote:
He is not interested in declaring victory. He suffers from the humiliation of others, and whenever victory appears somewhere, he wants to go somewhere else. Barthes, Roland Barthes, p. 46.
By describing himself in the third person, Barth gives the reader insight into his views and values, as in a typical autobiography. But in its fragmentary third-person presentation (no narration), it becomes more like a brief, philosophical musing rather than a traditional linear ‘story’ with character development. Memories are widely discussed
For example, does your book cover the period from birth to the present day? Or maybe a few weeks or months as you go through a major life event?
Teach K12 Novel Writing: Where To Start
The novel’s first-person narrator provides an example of a narrative approach to time that we can apply when writing about our lives.
To begin my life with the beginning, I write that I was born (as I know and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. Charles Dickens, David Copperfield (1850), p. 5 (1992 Wordsworth edition).
I was born ‘so’ in Blunderstone, Suffolk, Scotland. I was a posthumous child. My father’s eyes had not seen the light of this world for six months, and mine were opened. Dickens, David Copperfield, p. 6.
This approach to time gives us a linear sense of how life progresses, starting from childhood. This is a common narrative approach in many cases.
Story Plot Ideas: 8 Fun Ways To Find Your Premise
For example, you can start with a significant event that occurred in late adulthood and return to earlier scenes that reveal the background and help the reader understand the reasons for later events.
Many writers feel intimidated when starting a new project. This is especially serious when writing about more personal experiences without the protection of a fictional character.
Hermione Lee, the famous biographer of Virginia Woolf, was asked whether fear is a useful emotion for a biographer, and she replied:
Fear must somehow be transformed into work energy. In the meantime, I think you need to feel that that person is you and that you are the one who understands that person. But to get to that feeling, you have to deal with and master your anxiety. Paris Review’s ‘Hermione Leigh, The Art of Biography No. 4’ The interview can be seen here.
Where Do You Start Writing A Story
Every morning when I go to my desk I hear a little voice say, ‘He doesn’t know what he’s doing!’ Then he raises his arm and sweeps across the desk.’
Find your own ways to quell your fears, like changing the names of key people or even completely fictionalizing your own life.
A person’s life is a huge archive and treasury of important experiences and memories. As Hermione Lee puts it, the sheer volume of this ‘source material’ can feel overwhelming.
As an initial step in deciding how to write your life story, outline the key events you want to include. Try to write only two lines for each event or scene you are considering including. You can create and organize scene summaries in the scene builder.
Confusing Sentences That Actually Make Sense
At the heart of good life writing (like good fiction) is often a great internal and/or external conflict. The great tensions or experiences that the autobiographer faces. Tweet
As in fiction, the memoirist’s voice helps to create a distinct sense of character in the life writing.
In her book, acclaimed memoirist and poet Mary Karr offers sound advice through her voice to aspiring writers.
Every great memoir lives or dies 100% by its voice. This is a system that conveys the author’s experience. A broadband cable that carries every pixel of a person’s internal and external experience bright and clear. Mary Karr, The Art of Memoir (2015), p. 35.
Write! Stop Waiting, Start Writing. A Step By Step Guide To Turn What You Know Into A Book: Presland, Cathy: 9781910054000: Amazon.com: Books
Karr is careful to mask his voice to make him seem more sympathetic to readers. She says:
Your voice should allow for a range of emotional tones. So wise and so defiant in the face of grief. It’s so pathetic and stark. From cold and shy to tense and close, it sets and changes the distance to both the subject and the reader. Writers do not choose these styles based on who they are or how they experienced their past. Carr, p. 36.
In Karr’s chapter ‘The Truth Contract Twixt Writers and Readers’ she discusses the value of telling the truth (rather than ‘pulling yourself up’ for the audience).
So how does telling the truth help the reader’s experience? Let’s say you had a terrible childhood where you were tortured, ridiculed, starved and beaten severely with belts and hoses every day. You could write a repetitive, miserable memoir that’s more boring than a rubber knife. But is it “true”? And how do you put it in a box now, or do you stay true to your lived experience at the time? The same addicts probably fed you something back then. Otherwise you would be dead. Carr, p. 2.
Dystopian Writing Prompts & Story Ideas
The striking thing about Karr’s words is that the ‘truth’ is often more complex than what makes us look good (or makes others look bad).
One of the important lessons in learning how to write a life story is how to portray people as not just heroes or villains. In fact, using more colors (and more shades of gray) to fill in more complex portraits that show parts of people’s lives between better and worse choices. As Karr said:
It is the gap between childhood, life between butts that brings the pain of the past into sharp relief for readers. Carr, p. 2. 7. Get help shaping your life story
Writing a memoir or fictionalized autobiography is difficult because it covers not only the standard elements of a story (conflict, narrative, voice, etc.), but also personal territory. Some of these may be harder to revisit (or capture in prose) than others.
How To Start Writing Your Own Life History
Don’t be afraid to ask for help because of the many difficulties involved (including issues of subjectivity).
Karr writes about sending draft memoir manuscripts to the people included to ensure that the embellishments do not harm the person or the story. Beta readers can provide valuable input if they are spectators or active participants in the events you describe.
You can also enlist the help of a writing coach to help you weave personal experiences and anecdotes into a better and more complete story.
Jordan is a writer, editor, community manager and product developer. He holds a BA in English Literature and a BA in English Literature and Music from the UK.
Creative Writing Prompts For Kids And Teens, Grades 3 7: A Fun Story Starters Workbook For Kids
How do you start writing a book for beginners, how to start content writing for beginners, how to start writing a story for beginners, story writing for beginners, start writing story, how to start writing your life story, how start writing a story, how to start writing for beginners, how to start writing your own story, how to start writing songs for beginners, how to start writing a short story, how to start writing a book for beginners