ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Write a Good Story, As Taught by My Professor

Updated on January 13, 2010

Helps and Tools

  Just  as a carpenter or plumber have  their tools, to does the writer.  Sometimes I just get an idea, and in my head I know what I want to portray, but the right words just  won't come into my head, and I end up with a very dry and boring piece. 

   If you need a word, but cannot come up with the correct sentence try using either a dictionary, or a thesaurus to find exactly what you are looking for.  If you are trying to say that the dog was brown,  but that sounds really bad, look up brown in the thesaurus.  It will give you a list of different colors of brown, or different ways to say brown.  This is not only effective, but fun too.

Everyone rewrites, to get it right

   Most people think that writing a kids book is piece of cake.  It is not that easy and for these reasons.  You must always remember what age your target reader is, and find and use vocabulary that they will understand.  It must tell a story with a moral or learning experience involved in the story.  This is not always simple when your audiance is six or seven years old., and the publisher is telling you that  the story can only have five hundred words, or the end of it will be lost due to their short attention spans.

   Once you have an idea, and you begin to formulate it into a story, on paper with the old fashion pencil, write out a quick outline, so that later on you can refer back to it to make sure you are on track.  Plus this gives you a perfect place to fill in words you may want to use to describe specific objects or situations.

   Next, on fresh paper, write your first draft of the story.  The main idea at this step is to not only make sure that you portray the story and characters correctly, but  to not worry about getting it perfect, This is the step used to "overwrite" everything.  For example, if you are talking about a creek, this is the place to overwrite, and over describe things.  So your draft at this point might read like this-- The creek, stream, was bubbling, rocky, catching the rays of sun, slow and lazy, full of fish, and cold.  A field might be described like this--The field,meadow, next to his house was weedy, grassy, patchy, mostly dirt and rocks, and  the boy was sure it was full of rabbits, snakes, coins, or flowers.

   This is also the place to get very colorful when describing anything.  Avoid generic words.  You might want the reader to understand that it was summer and that day was very hot.  You could say just that, It was a very hot summer day.  In the sentence, It was a very hot summer day, every single words in the sentence is considered generic.  It might sound better to a reader if you said instead, That afternoon the sun was so intense, that the leaves looked wilted and were turning colors as fall approached.  You convey the same meaning, but have painted a much more colorful picture.

   The next step is to go back, and again with a pencil, edit out some of the words you decide you do not want.  For example in the previous paragraphs, when we were describing the creek, cross out either the creek or the stream, and decide whether you want it to appear to be lazy, slow and full of rocks, or bubbly, reflecting the sun and full of fish.

  And finally we come to the final draft, where the story, it's characters and places come together to paint a picture that you want your story to tell.  Every good piece of writing, should be rewritten four to five times before you can call it finished.

   Lets review the steps we took.  The first step was coming up with an idea or plan, and jotting that down in very few words.  Next, came the outline.  This is the place to make your ideas take a certain order so it forms a story, and being sure to add in any words or thoughts you might want to add later or just not forget.

   Then taking the outline, form your first draft of the story, using as many describing words as you can think of so that you have many ideas and pictures to plot your story with.  Finally, the last draft you will be making those choices, by taking out words that are generic or boring, and mixing up the most exciting and colorful descriptions you can, and still maintain the storyline.

   Try this a few times and you will find that though here it may sound as though it is taking up a lot of time, in the finished product you will be satisfied by how delightful, colorful and exciting the story became in the process.  The only thing that I know I left out, is to be sure that while you are using your imagination, be sure you are also having fun doing it.


Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    how do i write a story on here


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)