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Story Structure Tips for Young Writers

skating tuti

I often get questions from writers who have a great idea for a story, but they’re not sure how to put all these ideas together.

Tuti in bed facing leftEvery story needs a beginning, a middle and an end.

But just as important are the characters you write about.

Your story will start at the point where something changes for your character – for some reason their life will no longer be the same. For example, in my novel Letters to Leonardo, my main character Matt gets a letter from the mother he thought was dead.

The next thing you need to think about is a problem for your character. If your character doesn’t have something they are trying to fix or resolve, you won’t have conflict.

So your character has a problem they are trying to fix. The next thing you need is someone or something to get in their way to stop them from fixing it. This is where more conflict will be added to your story.

TUTI WITH THROWAWAY NOTESFinally you’ll have a big scene or final conflict. This will be bigger than any conflict that has happened before. This is where your character tries to overcome their story problem once and for all. They will either succeed or fail, but somehow the story will be resolved.

So your story needs:
1. A character with a problem
2. A plan to solve that problem
3. Someone or something that gets in the way and stops them from solving it.
4. A way for your character to overcome this.
5. A final outcome.

What Happens NextMy “What Happens Next” course provides more detailed information about how to structure your stories.

If you have questions about story structure, please feel free to ask them in the comments section of this post.

Happy writing:)


P.S. watch for the next writing competition opening soon

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Writing Workshop for Kids in Brisbane 14-16 April

Word up: Three day creative writing workshop
14–16 Apr, 9.30am–4pm | SLQ | For ages 15–17
$100 | Apply online

Do you want to extend your creative writing skills?

If so, join 30 like-minded young people over three jam-packed days in a fun, collaborative and relaxed workshop series led by a team of professional writers.

You will receive:

  • Access to professional writers and industry professionals
  • Hands-on experience and resources to develop your skills, confidence and abilities across various transmedia writing platforms
  • Tips on how to make it as a writer
  • A body of work created during the workshop program

So, are you ready for Word up?

To be a part of this workshop series all you have to do is…

  • Be aged 15–17 as at 16 April 2015
  • Be available for the full period of the workshop series from the 14–16 April 2015
  • Be able to travel to and from the workshop each day
  • Applications close 5pm, Monday 16 March 2015.

All applicants (successful and unsuccessful) will be contacted by Monday 23 March 2015.

For more information on how to apply
Contact the Literacy and Young Peoples Service, State Library of Queensland

p: 07 3842 9827

e: lyps@slq.qld.gov.au.


Please note: These workshops are being offered for the first time and are heavily subsidised by State Library of Queensland for affordability and accessibility to as many young people as possible, however If the fee is a genuine barrier to participation please contact the team.

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