Who knows what a story “box” is? Well, in case you’ve never heard of one, it’s the “box” most writers use to produce a story. It’s not always a box — many writers keep notebooks that they journal in for years and years. Then one day, they happen on a “blip,” a “blurb,” a “blog,” anything — picture, article, news story, something — that inspires them to write a story — fiction or non-fiction — but something that they are very interested in!
But, how do they start? Well, some of us start as young children; keeping notebooks filled with drawings and scribbles of stories that we now write. But, there’s more to it. Writers are very “visual”. They see things! They can look at a picture, a statue, a photograph, a scene — or something larger, like a piece of history, and want to know more! One thing leads to another, and a story is born! So, today, you are going to find your inner storyteller — your inner author and hopefully, this will take you into this wonderful realm, throughout your life!
Step 1: Find your “box.” Your very own box that you can keep all the things that you collect for your story telling. This does not have to be a “box” — it can be a basket, a cereal box, a shoe box, a bowl, plastic container or even a jar! Something that you can decorate with things you love, so that anyone who looks at it, knows it’s yours! Be sure whatever it is, it is large enough to hold:
- a notebook,
- pen or pencil,
- some colored pencils,
- a small scissor,
- glue stick,
- a straight edge
- your favorite book and
- maybe your favorite gnome!
P. S. “Boots and britches, do not leave this laying around in everyone’s way. Keep it in your room, on your desk or in your closet.”
Step 2: Decorate your “box” with whatever you want. There is not right or wrong way. Ask your mom or dad to help you get some:
- magazines, for pictures that you can cut out,
- old photos that you can glue,
- drawing paper, to create your own art,
- wrapping paper,
- scrapbook paper.
Ask them if they’ll get pictures off the web for you! Or, you can:
- write your name in big letters and decorate the letters — draw a picture around each letter,
- use a favorite coloring page– color it and glue it on the box,
- yarn and ribbon,
- paint it with watercolor paints,
- old plastic buttons,
- old fake flowers — take them apart and use just the petals — or use them whole,
- old pieces of costume jewelry that your mom has laying around — maybe for a pirate’s treasure box! Argh!
After all, this is YOUR BOX, your treasure — the sky’s the limit. Take your time, because as you’re doing this, I’ll bet you think of a lot of great stories.
P. S. Clean up your STUFF after you have decorated it. Do not leave a mess!
Step 3: Start your collection! You might want to use old envelopes that have been opened, to collect certain things. For instance:
- an envelope (or ten) for pictures of your family, or cats, or airplanes, or dogs, or dolls, or flowers — you get the picture. Whatever you love — get a picture of it, put it in an envelope and label the envelope! Soon, it will be bulging at the seams, and time for another one. But, if you keep pictures in an envelope — they won’t get smushed and wrinkled.
Write a word or two on the back of each picture you collect, number them, and start your “blurbs.”
For example: picture #1 is my cat Skye. In my notebook, I might write: “Skye was a feral cat and is now very friendly, tame and spoiled. (All true!) She is two years old and very fast!
And that’s how you begin! As you collect and write, or draw, you will find a common thread — something you are “passionate” about — very interested.
The more you collect, the more you will want to tell your story. Remember, it’s YOUR STORY. Don’t worry about misspells, punctuation, erasures — just write, and write, and write and write. The rest comes later, that’s called revisions and editing. We’ll get to that — RIGHT NOW, JUST WRITE! Oh, and read!
- Step 4: READ all you can about things you want to write about. Keep a list in your notebook! Title and author. Be a critic! Like it? Yes or no? Why? Favorite part of the story? Jot it down. The more you read, the easier it becomes to write. You’ll notice parts of the book, how the author uses words. Even if all you do is look at the “illustrations”– the pictures, look at them closely, they are very cool. And, if you want to be an illustrator, they will give you something to work towards.
Enjoy this craft and keep your Story Box handy. You could be finding all kinds of stuff that you’ll want to add to it!
As always, leave me a reply! Can’t wait to hear from you!