When he was asked what the key to being a good writer was, famous American fantasy novelist David Eddings gave the following advice:

“Start early and work hard. A writer’s apprenticeship usually involves writing a million words (which are then discarded) before he’s almost ready to begin. That takes a while.” -David Eddings

What does this mean? It means that learning to write a good story is hard work; if you want to become a good writer, the only way to do so is to write story after story after story after story. Practice makes perfect. For students sitting their scholarship exams in the coming month, Eddings’s advice is particularly relevant. When they sit down to their exam, they will be required to write an engaging narrative, based on an unseen prompt, in only 15 minutes. Not only do they need to be able to write a coherent narrative in this time, they also have to write a story that will stand out from the crowd and attract the attention of the examiners. I have already given some advice on some ways that your child can improve their narrative writing in this blog post. It’s definitely worth looking at if you haven’t already. But, as David Eddings suggests, all the advice in the world will not help if your child does not practice! So, in the weeks left before the scholarship exam, your child should be writing as many stories as they possible can. Even if they can put aside just 15 minutes each day to write a story, their writing skills are likely to improve dramatically before the exam. Below are 7 prompts that your child can use to practice. See if they can get through them all this week!

1. Write a narrative based on the following image. image1 2. Write a narrative that uses the following words: dark, bear, lightning, forgotten.

3. Write a narrative that begins with the sentence: “When I woke up, I looked around the room and came to the conclusion that I had no idea where I was.”

4. Write a narrative based on the following image.  image2 5. Write a narrative called “The Biggest Mistake of My Life.” 6. Write a narrative based on the following image.  image3 7. Write a narrative about a difficult decision.


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