How To Tell A Story
First, let’s collect together some bits and bobs…
THINK OF SOMEONE (or something)
Somebody a bit like you (maybe). We can call this person a HERO. It’s ok if they aren’t perfect. Nobody is. But they will do their best and that’s all that matters.
THINK OF SOMEWHERE
Go NUTS. It could be anywhere. Sat on a bed or sat smack bang in the middle of the entire UNIVERSE. Or a different Universe. Or on the back of a mouse.
THINK OF SOME FRIENDS
We might not use them but friends are great. You probably have a friend. Maybe one of them is a mouse who you talk to. Maybe one is a kind old lady who waves to you each day just as you arrive at the school gates.
OK. Got that? Sure? No turning back. Put your hat on and wrap your scarf around you. It’s time to go for a WALK.
We have a PROBLEM.
The PROBLEM is that we have no PROBLEM. We need one.
THINK OF A PROBLEM
Your hero needs to have a problem. Your story needs to solve a problem. That’s what stories are. So your problem might be that your hero has to get to school. That’s a problem, right?
So there you go. Your hero is sat on her or his bed, playing with her pet mouse when really, she (or he) needs to get to school. That’s a story. Or is it? Sounds a bit normal to me. Getting to school is EASY.
Maybe we need something else. Maybe we need to…
THINK OF A CONFLICT
This is the exciting bit. This is the bit where EVERYTHING GOES WRONG. Your hero has to get to school and is sat on their bed with a pet mouse WHEN KAZAAM! THEY ARE SHRUNK TO THE SIZE OF A SWEET.
Just as our hero was thinking that they really must put away the mouse, get off the bed and go to school when KAZAAM! the door opens and the bright light SHRINKS her or him or him or her down to the size of a sweet.
How will our hero get to school? It’s time to…
THINK OF A SOLUTION
There is no WAY a girl or boy the size of a sweet can possibly run fast enough to get to school on time. NO WAY IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. I know. I tried it once. I got VERY TIRED before I managed to get to the top of the stairs. RUNNING IS HARD WORK FOR LITTLE LEGS.
So let’s just give up and stay home. That sounds fine, doesn’t it?
NO. NO. NO. AND NO.
We have to get our hero to school. (I’m sorry but there are laws about this, even in stories).
So our hero looks for a way to get to school. They are in need of a SOLUTION.
WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY? A MOUSE? WHERE?
Oh yes. A mouse. The pet mouse.
Mice are quick. You know this, I know this, EVERYBODY knows this.
So let’s have our hero jump on the mouse and ride it to school. This mouse is clever. This mouse gets told EVERYTHING. Our hero just KNOWS it can do as it’s told.
So off they go and everything is great. The mouse runs fast. The hero holds on. We all arrive at the school in time (although there might have been a few CLOSE CALLS along the way).
How big is our hero again? Oh yes, I’ll tell you how big…
Our hero is TINY!
Tiny children cannot go to school (there is a law about that too).
We need one more solution to fix everything. And because it’s the last one, we need to…
THINK OF A RESOLUTION
Our hero is sat on a mouse at the school gates but cannot go in because they are TOO SMALL. How do we fix this?
If only we knew someone who could fix it.
Like a witch.
Wait. WAIT. Wait.
I know what you are thinking.
You just remembered that lovely old lady who waves to our hero each day.
Well CLEVER YOU. That’s right. That old lady is, in fact, a WITCH.
One more wave and KAZAAM! our hero is the right size again.
Now we’re done. Now we can go to school.
Or we could…
If only we can find somewhere to hide that…