English Language KS3 / KS4: What makes good story writing?

Anthony Horowitz introduces a line-up of top writers of children’s and young adult fiction who offer a smorgasbord of approaches to writing.

Since there are no limits to what you can write about and no rules about how you might do it, this becomes a collection of ideas about what works for different people.

Jamila Gavin, Keith Gray, Jacqueline Wilson, David Almond and Malorie Blackman share their writing secrets, giving consideration to where they find their inspiration, what their writing triggers are, and how they get writing started.

They explore ways of creating strong openings to hook the reader, and also reflect on approaches to action, description and dialogue, the importance of story structure and successful narrative resolution.

Teacher Notes

Students could look at some story openings by the featured writers to see all the different ways of hooking the reader at the start, before writing their own story opening.

Students could gather together examples of some of the ideas for inspiring writing, such as overheard remarks, observed situations and newspaper articles to make a bank of ideas for story writing.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching English Language at KS3 and KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

More from the series Curriculum Collections: English Literature / Language

Comedy and tragedy in Great Expectations
Music in Performance Poetry
What is the power of poetry?
What inspires a writer?
Comic strips and graphic novels
What makes travel writing engaging?
How did Arthur Conan Doyle create the character of Sherlock Holmes?