-Think creatively – Try not to use the first idea that comes into your head from a stimulus because chances are other people will have that same idea. If you are really stuck for ideas try changing time periods, set it in the future or the past, or a different country. Done to death ideas about belonging include the migrant experience and teenagers in school- if you can somehow twist these overused ideas into something unusual then they may be ok to use.
-Use sensory imagery! This is the fundamental rule for any good writing. Show us DON’T tell us! What can the protagonist see, hear, touch, taste, smell?
-Don’t reveal everything immediately. Readers (markers included) LOVE suspense. Keep us guessing, include a twist and make sure to let the story unravel naturally.
-Forget conventional story structures, be creative! Start with the complication or a flashback/forward.
-Create distinct character voices- This is a vital element in storytelling. You are writing from the perspective of your character, NOT from your own. How would your character speak, or think? Great writers observe others to find true dialogue. Listen to people on the bus or in a café. Think about cadence, grammar, accents, and confidence when you are listening in on people. Sometimes less is more especially in dialogue labeling.
E.g DO: “What’s that?” stammered John, furrowing his brow.
DON’T: “What’s that?” said John. He was very nervous.
Give the audience some credit, they should be able to work things out from the dialogue!
Write back stories for your characters, you might never include the information in your story but at least you know you have created a 3D character. READ WHAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN OUTLOUD. This is a great way to hear if what you have written makes sense!
-Make sure your story relates to the stimulus. It is fine to preprepare a story but in an exam you must link it with the stimulus provided. Try to refer to the stimulus material a