Hurrah and hooperloolerlay!
I am in the running to become the new Night Zoo Keeper. Night Zoo Keeper is, by about a hundred miles, the coolest website for getting kids to enjoy their writing, so, if you’re a School Visitor asked to become the Zoo Keeper, that’s like being an actor, invited to play Batman.
I hear I’m up against someone brilliant (a former kids’ presenter, who’s got a string of bestselling books), and to clinch the job I must come up with some excellent Story Starters, which have got a proven success for getting kids writing.
So in a moment I’m going to set you a suggestion. Please try writing, in response to this, and send me your results – even if they’re not that good, just send ‘em. (Clover Rule One: don’t write quality, write quantity). The best one will be selected Writer of the Week. They will be feted, and photographed, and will be sent cool stuff.
Here’s the suggestion…
A story starts with the word but
Start a story, in the very spot you’re sitting. Notice three things that are being deliberately boring. Describe them. Emphasise their tantalising tediousness: as you do, you will feel a word coming that will explode the boringness, and kick the adventure into action – the word “but”. Write “but” and then the first sentence of the adventure.
Here’s the first one, from Ella in Sturry.
I was sitting at my mum’s computer. In front of me, a tin of old pens gathered dust. Some dying nettles scratched at the window. Some books stood on the shelf before me. They were silent, undread, dull. But then I noticed that one of them started to jiggle.
It wobbled towards me, then it dived off the shelf, onto the desk, with a bang.
It had opened on page 76, which started with the words “Go into the garden, and find the old gnome…”