Writing Well

Get Cookin'!

When you write a short story or other narrative, you can rework an incident from your own life, come up with something completely fictional, or create a hybrid of fact and fantasy. Easier said than done, eh? Here are a few hints to get you started:

The following story chart is an enjoyable and effective way to plot your ideas:

Writer's Block

Just because something happened in real life doesn't mean that you have to include it in your plot—even if you're writing an autobiography or a narrative based on a true event. Instead, select the details and events that work toward a single effect. Remember: Art is life transformed.

Write Angles

In a fable, the theme is stated outright at the end in the form of a moral.

The earliest stories we read are fairy tales, fables, legends, and myths. You can start your own story by modeling it on a fable, such as this one by Aesop:

The Man, His Boy, and the Donkey

Use the same moral (or one of your own) and create some new characters to act out the plot.

book cover

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Well © 2000 by Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or call 1-800-253-6476. You can also purchase this book at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.