The driver looked at Colin with a hopeful face. ‘Can you fix it?’ Colin looked down at the engine and scratched his head. There was a maze of pipes, wires, and tubes of liquid. This really wasn’t his area of expertise. ‘It’s just that it’s new and I borrowed it from dad. I can’t take it back broken,’ the driver pleaded. ‘I’m not sure I’m the right person.’ ‘Pleassee. You just got to help.’ Colin felt pity for the young driver. He had been in that situation once. Maybe there was something he could do. It was a long shot. ‘Have you tried switching it off and on again?’ The driver perked up, leant over his dash, and flicked a switch. The engine died to a silence. Then he flicked the switch again. Lights came on. There was a gentle rumble as it sprung into life. ‘It worked! Oh thank you. I knew you were the person to ask.’ The driver hopped into his seat, wound up the window and gave cheerful wave. Colin stood back by his IT van as the driver and machine flew into the sky.
I’ve been asked many times by children when visiting schools: “Hey, mister, what makes up a story?”
Stories are made up of different kinds of parts which help you tell the whole thing. This explains some of the DRAD.
DESCRIPTION: This is the part of the story where you use lots of adjectives and longer sentences to describe the setting or characters. You might use descriptive writing devices like power-of-3, simile, metaphor, personification. Generally, it is better not to do all your description in one large chunk and have none any where else. Usually writers drop in some description through out their story. Example: The old house stood at the end of the winding street on top of a grey hill. It loomed over the area like a dark, foreboding presence waiting for the unwise to enter.
REFLECTION: This is when the characters think about what is happening or what has happened to them or what will happen to them. It gives insight into the characters and their motivation. Example: Why did I ever come here? This was the biggest mistake of my life! Kevin is dancing with Sarah and they’re dancing real close.
ACTION: These are fast paced sections where your character is doing something exciting. It should have lots of exciting verbs (action words) with little or no description and short sentences. Example: He pulled the gun. He let off a shot. One. two. They flew over the bandit’s heads. He dived behind a rock.
DIALOGUE: This is when two or more people are talking to each other in a story. Try to avoid using lots of words instead of SAID. Usually SAID is the bet word to use. What is said is the important thing. It should be important, interesting and move the story forward. Example: I was like, ‘What do you want?’
He shuffled his feet. ‘I wanted to ask you out.’
How much of each part you have depends on the type of story you’re writing and what form it is taking. An adventure story like James Bond will have more action but a historical drama will have more description. A story told through diary entries will contain more reflection, dialogue but less descritption and action.
Get a copy of the Story Parts to print for display here: story parts
Stories can start in a number of different ways. I’ll talk you through a few and you can pick the one you want to try or you could try them all!
DESCRIPTION: You’re probably familiar with this one. It’s when you begin your story describing the setting or main character. EG: The house stood on the hill at the end of the street, looking over all others as it groaned in the wind.
DIALOGUE: You can begin a story with some speech but make sure it’s active and moves the story forward. A conversation about going to the park is not exciting unless there is something sinister waiting. EG: ‘I hate you. And your mother stinks too!’ she yelled. ‘You just wait. I’ll get my own back on you Mary Jenkins!’ said Pete.
ACTION: You can drop your reader right into the thick of it by starting with some high octane action. But be careful to get the pacing right. EG: The silver ship soared across the sky, lazers blasting at the saucer. The saucer dived, twisting and turning, engines screaming; it’s rear guns beaming.
NARRATION: This is when the author is setting the scene by speaking directly to the reader. EG: Everybody knows that when children are asleep, the little popsie-fluffs sneak out from under the carpet and begin.