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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Altering The Plot

We can all remember being taught different methods of writing stories. Some eleven plus children may be writing a descriptive or an imaginative account in the next few days. Confirm that there are many different ways of writing plans but ensure that your child understands that it is vitally important that a plan is prepared.

Your children will have been taught at school about the plot, the setting and the theme. The words `plot’, `setting’ and `theme’ should be deep in their memories. Suggest that if they can not think of what to write they could always revert to the simple method given to them when they were seven or eight years old.

(think about the characters involved)
(where does the story take place?)
(when does the story take place i.e. past, present, future?)
(why are these characters there or involved in the story?)
(what is the beginning?)
(how did the characters get there?)

(They could use a spider diagram or equivalent to finish the plan.)

We may need to remind our very bright eleven plus children that is it essential that they do not write as an eight year old. They must think about the plot. Try to make the point that a successful plot is where the characters, the setting and the theme all work together. Explain that if one character changes then the whole story will need to be transformed.

Read some pages of a book together, look at a character, then discuss how the whole book would change if the character suddenly took on a new appearance or manner of speaking. Use a character from a popular soap. Talk about how the episode would need to alter if the setting or theme changed.

Enjoy some heated discussions!

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