🖋 Story Writing Lesson For Kids (And Grown-Ups) – Part 3 🖋
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Story Writing Lesson For Kids Part 4 coming next Monday.
This week’s story writing lesson for kids (and grown-ups) is all about writing the end your story, with some tips to help bring everything together.
I hope you find the video helpful in writing the end of your own story and I’ll see you next week where we will go over how to polish and improve your story once you have written it.
Story Writing Lessons For Kids – Part 3
Hello, my name is Adam Oakley, and this is Part 3 of the story writing lesson for kids and grown ups.
In the last two videos we went over how to start your story, with the theme of an unusual child who either has a special ability, or an ability that others don’t have, and then we looked at how to write the middle of your story, as other characters begin their journey to seek help or learn something from your main character, or your main character learns something for themselves.
Now we are coming to the final part of the story, which is the end. Sometimes endings in stories can be smooth and a bit more predictable, and sometimes they can have unexpected twists that the reader doesn’t expect. But overall, the end of the story tends to bring things together, where the main tension of the middle of the story is resolved. Someone who was seeking help finally gets it, or someone who was fighting a battle will win or lose it, or someone who is trying to achieve something achieves it, or they don’t.
First I will read you the end of the story called No Worries, which is about Jerry, the boy who cannot worry. A visitor to the town is in search of Jerry, because he wants to learn more about how it’s possible to not worry, and he has been guided to Jerry’s house by a young boy named Cecil, who can fly.
Now Cecil has left the visitor outside of Jerry’s house, and the visitor is all alone….
The visitor turned to face the cottage and began his approach towards the door. He was a few steps from the oak-laden entrance, when he heard melodic whistling coming from behind him. He turned to see a young man walking towards him, looking at him with a calm gaze, as if he was in no way surprised to see a stranger at his door.
This young man was not carrying the trouble of the ordinary teen.
“Jerry, I presume?” asked the visitor, knowingly.
“Yes, come in Albert,” said Jerry, to the absolute amazement of his new guest. He had seen and heard of many gifts, but appearing to know a stranger’s name was one he had not heard of before.
As he clicked the door shut behind him, Jerry, out of habit, was about to ask Albert if he would like a drink, when he realised there was no point. Albert looked quite quenched.
The two sat down in unison, following Jerry’s gesture, facing each other in two cosy, welcoming armchairs. They could hear a clock ticking from somewhere, but no time seemed to be passing.
They sat there in silence. They looked at each other, and said nothing. All of Albert’s questions he had stored up had completely escaped him, as if he had lost them. He just remained there empty, without any concern at all. It felt strange at first, but then he began to relax into it. Then he began to laugh, quite uncontrollably at first. How wonderful it was to be without any worry at all! Not only to be without it, but to see the futility of it. All of his worries had never helped him in the slightest! How mad it all was!
He had always felt as if something was missing, as if something was not quite right. As he sat in this exquisitely comfortable chair, he felt this uneasy feeling had not been based on anything. He had always given a reason for it, explained it or justified it in some way, but it was just a belief he had purchased, in the same way he had purchased the drinks for Cecil! This belief that there was something missing, something undone, something not quite right, was now a myth to him!
Jerry was enjoying this revelation taking place within Albert, and also knew that he would soon be speaking with Cecil, who was now quietly peering in through the garden window, just behind and to the right of Jerry.
“My parents must be mad,” thought Cecil to himself. “Why would they worry? It doesn’t seem to have a useful purpose…” he could feel all of his worry abilities, presently in seed-form, being burnt within him, leaving him feeling even lighter, even freer, and he no longer found himself preoccupied with the approval of the next person he planned to meet! He sat down in the front garden, quite happy, for once, to not need to do or think of anything at all.
Cecil overheard the two in the house exchange thanks and gratitude, soon after which he saw his drinking partner emerge from the front door. The two acknowledged each other with a gentle nod, as they began to walk together, back to where they had first met.
They didn’t feel they needed to fly anymore today. They were happy to enjoy the walk, to enjoy not needing to be elsewhere, to simply walk on the Earth. Flying was wonderful, and was surely useful, but just for now, they were happy to walk again.
They felt this indescribable joy in the absence of all worry. Albert was no longer carrying his past worries, and Cecil was no longer carrying his parents’. They could not explain what had happened, but they both knew that hiding beneath all worry, was a natural joy of being alive. Despite the fact that both could fly, they had never felt such a lightness.
After a beautifully uneventful walk together, they returned, after some while, to their meeting point. They stopped and faced each other. They knew that they would never be able to worry about anything for as long as they would live. Jerry had somehow taken their ability from them, and they were quite happy about it.
“Thanks for the drink,” said Cecil, looking up at his new friend, knowing this would not be the last time the two would meet. “Thank you for your trustworthy guidance, my boy,” said Albert, smiling down at his accomplice. And with that, the two friends parted ways, Cecil into his house, and Albert into thin air.
And that’s the end of the story.
The visitor, Albert, had been trying to achieve something in the middle part of the story. He had been trying to find the boy who could not worry, with the hope that he could free himself from the burden of worry as well. The end of the story has him achieve this, and there is a deeper meaning about the humans mind’s habit of worrying, and how it doesn’t do much good.
Whatever desire there was in the middle of your story becomes satisfied, as help is given or a lesson is learned, and the journey that your characters were on comes to an end.
Perhaps I should have mentioned earlier, your story can be as short or as long as you like. I’ve written stories that fit on to one page, and I’ve written stories that fill entire books. The length of your story is up to you, but as an initial guideline, the end should be at least as long as the beginning section. In my case, in today’s story, it was much longer.
As with the other videos, you can either plan what you want to happen beforehand, so that you know exactly what will happen in the end of your story, or you can see what ideas come to you when you are in the middle of the writing process.
There are a few tips I could give you for the end of your story that you might find helpful to bring everything together.
Tip #1 – Describe How Your Characters Feel
The first is to describe how your characters feel. Particularly any character who learns something, or who is helped.
Now it’s good to say that someone felt happy, or sad, or relieved, but it’s even better to actually describe how they feel. If you say someone felt happy, then you are naming an emotion. But if you go a step further and describe how that feels, then that can be even better. For example, in the story I read, there was line that said, “Despite the fact that both could fly, they had never felt such a lightness.”
So if possible, describe the actual feelings that someone is experiencing. Perhaps their heart feels full of love, or their body feels alive and energised, or perhaps their mind feels free and expansive. Just a little detail about their inner experience can go a long way in making your story more immersive, and it helps to show that a goal has been achieved, or something has been learned.
You can also talk about a feeling as if it is a living thing. For example, in my story there’s a line that says, “They both knew that hiding beneath all worry, was a natural joy of being alive.”
Using the word ‘hiding’ almost implies that the joy has a certain kind of character that doesn’t move or make itself apparent unless the worry on top is eased in some way.
Tip #2 – Describe Any Changes Of Behaviour
Tip number 2 is to describe any changes of behaviour after help has been given or a lesson has been learned.
For example, now that Albert and Cecil are experiencing the happiness that comes from being free from worry, they don’t even feel as if they need to fly. They are happy to just walk on the ground. The story says, “They didn’t feel they needed to fly anymore today. They were happy to enjoy the walk, to enjoy not needing to be elsewhere, to simply walk on the earth.”
There’s a contrast here compared to when they were on their way to find Jerry. They were flying through the air, which seems much more exciting than walking, and it’s certainly faster, but by the time they have left Jerry’s house, they start to find enjoyment in what is usually a very normal activity of walking. It’s almost as if they’ve entered a new world where the everyday motions of life become sacred and enjoyable, because their minds are free from worrying about the future. They become more fully present in the moment.
Describing any change in behaviour also indicates that there has been a deep shift in the way someone feels. Imagine if you saw a very happy person walking down the street – their body language would be very different to someone who is upset or depressed. So describing behaviour or even they way someone walks is a good way to describe how they feel, without being too obvious.
Tip #3 – Characters Go Home, Or To A Safe Place
And finally, if you want to know how to bring the story to an ending, you can have your characters going home, or parting ways, in the knowledge that they have been helped, or they have learned something.
In my story I had Cecil and Albert returning to where they first met, and they say goodbye and go home with a totally different perspective on life. If you want to, and if your story allows it, you can do something similar. If your main character has learned something, they can go home, or they can go to any place they find a sense of safety in, where you know they will be happy. If there are other characters that have been helped, or they learn something after their journey, you can have them return to wherever they feel safe, happy in the knowledge that something has been achieved.
And that’s it for today. There’s so much that could be said about story writing – how to write, how to describe things, little tricks and techniques to use, and perhaps as the weeks go on I can keep making videos to help your story writing get better and better, with examples from my own stories. Now it’s up to you to write the end of your story and see how it turns out.
Remember it’s important to enjoy the process and give yourself a sense of freedom to where you can let the words flow out of you. If it ends up being a story that even you don’t like, then that’s okay. In fact there are some stories that the writers themselves didn’t particularly like, but plenty of other people did. The important thing, I would say, is you just write the story that you want to write, so that you can enjoy the process and let it carry itself through to completion.
Next week’s video will go over some basic things you can do once you’ve finished writing your story. I mentioned in the first video that you don’t have to worry too much about spelling and punctuation the first time round, but once you have written your words onto the page, then you can go back and fix whatever needs to be fixed.
So more on that next week, with a few other tips that I like to use to make my stories as good as it can be.
I hope this video has been helpful. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next time.
Story Writing Lesson Part 4 coming next week.
All the best,