Note: This whole activity is available online at my new “Keep On Writing” Online Writing School. It’s set up as a tutorial to allow kids to work at their own pace with more in depth instruction. For more information, LINK HERE!
Welcome to Day 4 of writing your own spooky story. Today, it’s time to work on connecting those middle events to lead to your solution in your ending. It’s going to be a busy day. Before I start, I have to announce the HUGE issues with my phone. It completely has died. I have to take it to the CPR phone store. So, I’m going to have to postpone my Periscope broadcast until tomorrow at 3:30 pm PDT. Sorry folks. When the electronics act up, it affects everything. But of course, I can still answer questions and comments on the blog. Feel free to ask advice as you progress through your project this week.
Today is the second day of writing your rough draft. It’s the time you need to connect your introduction and problem you wrote yesterday to the rest of the story. You need to write the middle events that lead your characters to the solution, and end your story with the satisfying bang that they crave. In this section, you have to leave clues that your character can find or have events that push them along to the ending. Think of all those other spooky stories you may have read. They will help you get some ideas. Writers are active readers as well as observers. A lot of the time, a good book in the same genre will jog an idea for you. If you get stuck, try remembering some of your favorite books and try the same thing(s) with a twist. All you have to do is something similar but with twists and changes.
Another thing that helps me get in the zone for writing is to put on some music. If it’s difficult for you to concentrate without noise, that’s normal for some people. Some people need a background noise, like music, to concentrate. Some people need complete silence. If you’re having trouble, and know you need quiet or music to write, try making an environment for writing. For example, I have made several playlists for different projects using Youtube. I find the video for a song and put them in a playlist. Right now I’m playing a Halloween playlist to get me in a spooky mood. It includes Panic at the Disco’s “Emperor’s New Clothes”, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, Theme song from “Tales of the Crypt” and “Ghostbusters”. If I get stuck, I watch the video and listen to the music, and it gets my concentration going again. This works for me. But if you have other ways that help you as you write, please feel free to share in the comments section.
As you’re writing, be sure to check your story map to check off things as you add them. They will help you guide yourself to the ending. Also, to avoid telling too much, try using dialogue. Sometimes it’s easier to have your characters talk about something than just describe it. Here’s an example:
Mark and Becky walked up to the house at the end of the street. No one liked to trick or treat at this one house, because it looked too haunted. It had a older man that lost his wife a few years ago. He never appeared except to water his lawn now and again. Becky thought one more treat would be good. Her candy bag looked a bit small. Not many people had been home in her neighborhood. Maybe they could get something at this house after all.
Now, let’s add some dialogue to the paragraph.
Mark looked at Becky. “You think we should trick or treat at the house at the end of the street?”
Becky felt ill. “Really, no. I mean, that old guy never appears since his wife died. He only comes out to water his lawn. He’s not very nice when he does it too.”
Mark grabbed his bag looking inside. “It’s been slim pickings this year. Not many people have been home, Becky. Why don’t we try one more house? It couldn’t hurt, right?”
Becky shrugged her shoulders. What did she have to loose? One more house couldn’t hurt.
Adding dialogue makes the scene come alive, and you’re no longer telling the action, it is being done by your characters. Dialogue can make the action propel into the next scene. Next, I’d have them walk to the porch and try to trick or treat. Since this would be my haunted house setting, somehow they’d end up inside the house. And then the real fun begins.
Enjoy finishing up your rough draft today. Tomorrow, we’ll work on revising and proofreading to ready you to get that final copy done for Halloween. Ask around and see if someone is willing to listen to your story for tomorrow. And I’ll post questions and tips for them to look for. Until then, happy writing!- Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)
Plus, for this week only starting, Oct. 27, my Halloween Tale, Pumper the Pumpkin will be available for free on Amazon. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A