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Entrance Exam Story Writing with Wow Factor

Writing a story or composition within 30 minutes is tough going when you’re against the clock. Though some entrance exams give a choice of  composition questions, while others just set one, you need to get your skates on.

A ‘what happens next’ question is a classic question that appears often. Continuing a story written by a professional writer is never an easy task. So to get your story writing juices flowing, here are some essential techniques:

How to continue a story without boring the examiner

  • Re-read the last paragraph of the story to remind you what is happening, what situation the character is in and decide what could happen next if it was in real time.
  • Note the tension and drama unfolding in the extract as that is likely to continue.
  • Check whether the story is written in the first or third person. Continue the style.
  • Note the setting/time of day. It’s important to include description – setting details show how observant you’ve been.
  • Don’t pack endless changes and events into your writing. Instead, focus on how one dramatic event or discovery might impact on the character and the storyline…
  • Include dialogue in keeping with the characters..
  • Look at what sentences the author has used. Have similes and metaphors been used? Do sentences open with verbs, prepositions or adjectives/nouns? Are short sentences used for impact?
  • You might end your story on another moment of drama, or a reflective comment such as, ‘He wished he’d never opened the box in the first place…
  • Never end with ‘Then I woke up from a bad dream’ or ‘I fell down dead..! If your character perhaps does pass out, make it realistic. Your eyes might blur over and the scene before you will fade into darkness. Best to end on a cryptic note like this than a silly one that’s been done before.

More successful story writing tips

  1. Start in the middle of some drama, a conversation, an event. Don’t work up to it…
  2. Imagine your story is like a mini movie. Include sight, sounds, sensations, shapes to bring events to life. Just like a camera, zoom into a face, a drawer, a window even.
  3. A new character, event, sudden change of focus or reply to dialogue definitely needs a new paragraph.
  4. Introduce some contrast into your story. Noise to stillness, light to dark, empty to full, blue skies to rain clouds. In fact, adding weather can add to tension. Rain can pound against a window as if it’s a bully trying to get it. Personification can twist a dull sentence round into an exciting one.

Need an English Tutor to help discover your inner writer?

Whether you’re taking your GSCEs, 13+ or 11 plus exams – or a school entrance exam at any age – you need to impress the school with your writing skills.

All too often bad habits stick such as misusing commas for full stops, or not varying sentences. Equally, some children struggle to even get going in the first place! Is that you?

Get in touch with 121 Home Tutors today as we have the best bunch of English specialists ready to help.

 

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