Story Writing Tips

Scroll down for videos and on-line resources.

Here are some tips to help you with your story writing.

Choosing a topic for your story

The Tell Me a Story writing competition is an open competition, which means we accept stories on any topic and genre. Select a topic that appeals to you, so you put your thoughts and your feelings into it. If you like the topic and the story, there is a good chance that someone else will like it too.

How to start your story

When you select a topic for your story, imagine what you are going to include in it, make notes and then write a draft. Just write as much as you like at this stage. You may extend it or shorten it later. Write with passion, so your story flows and is interesting to read.

Consider the following elements:

  • An opening that captures the reader’s attention;
  • A complication (something happens);
  • Details to make it more exciting, amusing or interesting for the reader;
  • A resolution that is likely to satisfy the reader.

Improve your story.

This could involve, rethinking, rewriting, expanding, cutting out, or filling-in details. Reread your story to check that all parts make sense, and that you haven’t assumed that the reader knows what you know.  Remember to check spelling and grammar.  When you finish typing your writing, check the number of words in your story, as it must not exceed the maximum limit.  The number of words can be much less than the maximum limit, if this is your choice.  

Show your story to someone

This could be a family member, a friend or a teacher. They may give you some good advice for changes or corrections that would improve your story further.

Story Writing Videos and Websites

Selected by Tell Me a Story team

Video Clips

Age Group Title Content Length Link
Years 3-4 How to Write a Story Part 1 This is a tutorial on writing a story with beginning, middle, end – tutorial for kids 2:16


Watch on YouTube
How to Create a Story Map for Kids


In this video, you’ll learn how to create a story map to help plan your narrative writing! 2:05


Watch on YouTube
Story Elements Part 1: Characters, Setting, and Events What are the character, setting, and events of a story and how to identify them. 2:13


Watch on YouTube
How to Write a story for Kids


A video lesson for kids on what a story needs: beginning, middle, end, setting, characters, and something needs to happen. 2:06


Watch on YouTube
Years 5-6


Plot Mountain


The Plot Diagram song will help you increase your storytelling power and learn the elements of plot. A ‘plot mountain’ diagram is often used when learning storytelling or teaching story elements. 2:49 Watch on YouTube
How To Write a Children’s Story 10 Top Tips  

Watch on YouTube

How to Write Descriptively The point of fiction is to cast a spell, a momentary illusion that you are living in the world of the story. But as a writer, how do you suck your readers into your stories in this way? 4:41 Watch on YouTube
How to Write a Story Opening 2:55


How to Write a Story Opening | Creative Writing Tips – YouTube
Creative writing tips for kids 2:19


Watch on YouTube
7 Creative Writing Exercises For Beginners Better Descriptive Writing 5:56


Watch on YouTube
All ages Creative Writing Prompt Video Writing Activity and Lesson 1:24


Watch on YouTube



  1. A Step‑by‑Step Guide to Helping Your Child Write a Story

2. Writing prompts for younger students

3. Fun Topics for Kids to Write About