Plan your story
Never leave writing to chance. Spend 5-10 mins plotting your story’s key events before you begin to write.
Create believable characters
- A character doesn’t have to be perfect to be a strong character. Faults and weaknesses are important ingredients in making a character believable.
- The traits you choose for your main character determine how your character must act, talk and think.
Make dialogue purposeful
- Good dialogue:
- reveals information about characters’ personalities.
- helps to advance the plot.
- is never boring or mundane.
- Use short concise sentences that get straight to the point. (No more than 2-3 sentences.)
- Don’t use Singlish. (Most schools do not accept non-standard English in dialogue.)
Show, don’t tell
Give the reader actions, thoughts, senses and feelings rather than simple description.
Going to the dentist makes me really nervous.
I had to go to the dentist to get a cavity filled. My stomach was in knots. I felt like I was going to throw up. My palms were sweating and my hands were shaking. Just the thought of the high-pitched whir of the dentist’s drill made my heart race.
End with a satisfying conclusion
- The ending of your story forms the readers’ final impression of what they have read, so make it memorable.
- A story ending can be happy or sad, something unexpected, or a lesson learnt. Make sure it ties up all the loose ends.
- A great ending makes readers feel something. If you bring your characters and conflict to life, your readers will care how everything works out and will feel for your characters when they succeed or fail.