How To Help Children Write Their Own Stories

Helping Children Write Their Own Stories

Children love to write their own stories and it’s up to us to show them how to help them write children stories but they don’t always know how to set these stories up so they tell a strong story that makes sense.  Giving children a structure to work from is a great way to help them master the art of storytelling.  Stories that have proper structure tend to be more focused on the plot and don’t go off on tangents.

Here are some ways to help children successfully create strong fictional characters that will lead to great kids fictional stories.  We’ll be using the who, what, where, when, and how structure to set up our stories so they follow a logical path.

  1. Who is the main character? – First we must find out who our main character is so we have someone to write about.  Next, we’ll fill out who are the supporting characters which may include a friend or a mentor and then someone who is the antagonist or bad guy.
  2. What is the main character doing? What is the main character hope to accomplish?  He is fighting for a cause, trying to find something or someone, fighting against himself or an injustice?  Perhaps something has happened to him and he needs to find a cure or has to fight an inner demon that is causing him pain, embarrassment or even a destructive habit to battle.
  3. Where does the story take place? –  Is it a fantasy story in a place far away/  Is it in a magic kingdom?  Or maybe it is in his hometown?  You decide and allow the setting to determine where most of the action will take place.  In children’s stories we can’t allow for too many settings as it takes away from the plot and confuses early readers.Keep it simple and use the setting as a place that is most important to your plot.
  4. When does it take place? – This is extremely important!  Is it long ago or in the future?  Does it take place in the present?  Past?  or a combination?  You can start in the past and go to the future or start in the future and come back to the present?  But you must present the time as a way to move the story.  It must be so important that it drives the story. Don’t use it just to be cute.  make it work.
  5. How does the story resolve itself? – There must be closure of some major plot point to end the story.  Even if you plan a sequel, you must end the story on a happy note or risk losing the patience of your reader.  give the reader what they want but fire their imagination in the process.  It’s in your storytelling that each and every part fits together in a neat little package that guides the reader to a conclusion that entertains them.

When you can complete these 5 steps you will have a successful story.


A. J. Westin is a children's adventure book author who specializes in writing stories kids really want to read. He has written over two dozen books and has dedicated his life to helping kids become better readers through his inspirational stories.
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