Climbing the Story Mountain!
Writing creatively is one of the keys to success. An extensive vocabulary, full of well-chosen and creatively employed words, will add interest to your writing by allowing readers to form a mental image of your setting, characters, and narrative.
When you write a story rather than a description, it is essential to have a plot in which a problem (or dilemma) occurs and is overcome (or resolved).
Think of any good story you know, and you will see that it follows this structure, sometimes with many twists and turns along the way. When writing in an exam, however, it is best to stick to the following:
- A simple plot
- A small cast of characters
- A well-described setting
- A single problem
- A resolution which links back to the opening of the story
To achieve this is via the use of a “Story Mountain”, as follows:
- We begin at the foot of the mountain, where there might also be a small lake. We might choose to “dive in” to the lake and immerse ourselves straight into the action. Our characters are introduced and the scene is set (remember, Show, don’t Tell !)
- As we climb the lower slopes of the mountain, our story develops and the elements which will become involved in the problem are revealed. These might include aspects of the characters’ backstories.
- At the mountain peak, we find ourselves at the height of the action, with the success or safety of our protagonists under threat!
- Next, we begin our descent as a resolution to the problem unfolds. This could be where our protagonists’ skills come into play, or where they learn a powerful lesson.
- Finally, we reach the conclusion of the story, back on safe and flat terrain on the other side of the mountain. Popular ways to end a story include a “circular ending” (which links back to the story’s opening) and a “moral ending” , in which the protagonist has learned a valuable life lesson. However, you may also like to try a “cliffhanger”, which leaves your readers with an unanswered question, or a “twist in the tail”, where the ending is totally unexpected.
The above will help strengthen 7+ and 8+ students creative writing skills and help them perform relatively better than their peers in their competitive exam preparation.