Seven Steps To Story Writing Success: A Step-By-Step Guide

Seven steps to story writing success. A story writing guide and worksheets for children.

Change things up a bit in your homeschool. Drop your usual routine and dive into the story telling world. This story writing guide will help you to help your child every step of the way.

Each step has ready to use child-friendly worksheets that you can download and print.

This Seven Steps to Story Writing Success story writing guide has culminated from going through the writing process with my kids. It’s been refined by putting it into lots of classroom practice. 

As with all of my resources, your feedback is invaluable! Your feedback will help me to refine this guide and ensure it becomes an even more user-friendly and impactful resource for our homeschooling community.

If your children would like to share any stories they produce please feel free to send pictures or typed copies to me:

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Introduction to the Story Writing Guide

Many homeschoolers have multiple aged children, therefore it was really important to me to make this guide be useful for various age groups. This guide allows you the complete freedom to tailor the story writing experience based on your children’s needs, allowing for a customised writing journey.

I have included everything that I would want my kids, who are preparing for their GCSE English exams, to consider when they write a story to a prompt, under time conditions. I have then expanded each part into separate activities that I can use for my younger kids, in the classroom. This story writing guide therefore contains essential story writing elements that are not only crucial for older students, but this story writing guide is also accessible to younger writers.

The seven steps of the story writing guide each have a specific purpose, supported by an activity sheets that engages kids and helps them work on key skills.

Each step of the writing guide is a separate post as I wanted to provide detailed explanations and examples. This way the objectives and expectations of each step is known and you can choose to skip it or apply it allowing the flexibility of ignoring any parts you don’t want to focus on or that is unsuitable for your children’s level.

As you use this guide please remember that there is no right or wrong way to write a story. Not everyone will naturally be fluent at coming up with compelling story ideas. The first time can be hard, but it gets easier with practice. For most of us, developing strong story writing skills requires focus and effort. Most of all though, enjoy this process, take it at your child’s pace, work collaboratively with your children as much as they need, and celebrate each step completed.

Story Writing Step 1: Freewrite

In my post 5 Products That Give Your Child a Strong Writing Foundation, I detail how I homeschool English during the primary years. I mention how freewriting is an essential part of how we do English in our homeschool.

The freewrite method is a technique widely promoted by Julie Bogart, a veteran homeschooling mum and writing curriculum creator. Essentially, it is a brainstorming technique that involves writing continuously without stopping or censoring thoughts. It’s a great way to generate ideas for stories, as it allows kids to tap into their creativity without worrying about grammar, spelling, or punctuation.

In this step I explain how to freewrite as a first step to writing stories.

Step 2-Sort Out the Nitty Gritty

In this step kids will explore and pin down the key elements of their story.

By identifying the protagonist’s goal, anticipating challenges and obstacles, establishing a clear setting, and crafting a satisfying resolution, kids can create stories that are more engaging, cohesive, and have sustained narratives.

Without considering and articulating the nitty gritty details of the plan, the story may lack direction, characters may seem aimless, and the reader may lose interest.

Step 3-Planning the Plot

Planning again?

Didn’t we just plan in Step 2?

Yes and no!

In the previous step, planning the nitty gritty, children thought out the critical elements of their story. In Step 3, planning the plot, children will visually render the main parts of their story in chronological order. This ensures that there is always a clear and simple plan to fall back on, and no one will suffer from writer’s block because the main story events have already been identified.

Step 4-Character Development

In this step kids will describing the characters in their story in more detail. They will not only note physical aspects of their characters, but also more personal details such as their back story, strengths, skills, weaknesses, and motives.

Step 5: Spice Up Writing with VCOP

In this step, kids will be considering how to spice up their writing- make it more effective, interesting and meaningful by intentional use of Vocabulary, Connectives, sentence Openers, and Punctuation, in short VCOP. 

Vocabulary, conjunctions, openings, and punctuation marks are a great and easy way to progress writing from the basics to a more sophisticated level. Having this dedicated time to play with these elements of writing made it more likely that these elements will be included in your children’s writing.

Step 6: Harness the Power of Show Not Tell

This step is all about getting children to write so that they pull people right into their imagination.  In other words, this step is all about getting your child to “show not tell” in their story.

Using the technique of show not tell is something that will make your children’s writing better, but it isn’t always easy to implement. In this post I will explain two easy and effective ways your child can start using this technique in their story.

Step 7: Ready, Steady, Write (and Edit as You Go)

Finally, the step your kids will have been waiting for- writing the story! In this step I also strongly advocate pausing every now and again and revising and editing the story as you go. I will be giving tips to make this editing process as productive and painless as possible. Also, you can look forward to a handy check-list (but not like you’ve seen) that will guide you and your child on some of the key things to include to create a truly great story.

I hope these seven steps to story writing success helps you and your children have many successful writing experiences, as it has in our homeschool.

Please support the community and leave your own insights and tips that you have used to help develop your children’s writing.

As with all of my resources, your feedback is invaluable! Your feedback will help me to refine this guide and ensure it becomes an even more user-friendly and impactful resource for our homeschooling community.

If your children would like to share any stories they produce please feel free to send pictures or typed copies to me to share on this website:

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