(For Kids young and Old)
In fiction, you can draw on the wonder and variety of real life and then bend the rules a little to make a story someone can read with a beginning, middle and end.
You can exercise your intuition and let your imagination run free.
You can tell your own truths in fiction.
You can speak with many voices and explore the things you believe in.
You can shake your fist at oppression and cruelty.
You can let go of your sorrows.
And create characters who understand justice and love.
Best of all we have a wonderful tradition of story telling in books from which you can learn the art of telling a fine story others will want to read.
The best story frames – the most simple to understand are the folk tales and fairy tales we heard as young children.
The Ugly Duckling is about being an outsider and finding one’s place in the world. The humble duck endures hardship patiently and it is fate that leads him to the lake where he discovers his true nature is that of a swan.
The Snow Queen is a quest story in which the heroine journeys through a strange land in search of her loved one who has been taken away by the Ice Queen. The heroine’s determination and devotion are rewarded with success.
In these stories the writer invents new worlds, animals and characters with extraordinary powers, but at the heart of each story is some truth as the writer sees it, about humans that readers understand. For this reason, they care about what happens to the heroes.
Exercise: Learn to write by writing
Make a list of the things that mean most to you in the world – big things and small things you love/need/desire. The longer the list, the better – try for a hundred.
Imagine your greatest wish is in your hands, and somebody takes it away.
Use this as the core of a quest story of your own with a beginning, middle and end. If you need to, take a story frame from one you know well but make the characters, the setting and incidents your own. Let your characters lead you.
Write a first draft, read and edit.