How to excel in the Young Authors competition


A writer’s environment is important for productivity. Make yourself comfortable and get to writing!

Leland Domosley, Reporter

Hello writers! So some of you want to try your hand at Young Authors but don’t know where to start. Fear not, because the super hero of writing has appeared out of nowhere! With this simple guide you will know how to write your stories or poems. You can write nonfiction, fiction, or poems for Young Authors, but you must be quick since the deadline for submitting to Young Authors is the 28th of January. Basic requirements are that it must be under 4000 words and must be written sometime during this school year. 

One of the most important things to do when you’re writing is to have a storyline. You can’t just write a world into existence without knowing what to do next after all. You can always look for inspiration to help with your writing by watching shows or reading stories about something you may want to write yourself, but don’t copy. That would be plagiarizing the other creator’s work. After all, a fish called Perry Trouter that becomes a mage is too similar to Harry Potter, an existing story. Instead, maybe pick some elements like horror or romance to focus on then build your way up. 

The structure of the story is also very important. If you build a magnificent house out of metal but your foundation is just some noodles, it falls apart. So you need to make sure there aren’t plot holes in the story that will dismantle your work. Also on the topic of structure, continuity matters. It can break the flow of the writing if the story starts to explain something important but a character just casually breaks it. Also, if you decide to have a character say something, like they follow laws, but it shows them breaking laws, it can just be annoying for the person reading, unless the character is meant to be portrayed as a hypocrite. It can be very confusing if the same character has too many things about them that contradict each other.

But why is the character even going there? There can be many reasons why someone wants to go from point A to point B. For example, say Steve wants to get a hotdog. But to get the hotdog he desperately needs he has to get past the security guards that consist of different penguins. So maybe Steve needs to dress up as a penguin to blend in or even bribe them with the finest fish. Motivation and conflict is key to unlocking the potential in the story you have. Oops…I may have borrowed a little too much from one of my favorite movies there. 

Finally, the story needs to wrap up somehow after you get done with the most important part, so what you need to do is come to a satisfying conclusion. Instead of just writing on and on, go for an ending that feels right. This can be the protagonist Steve eating the hotdog he fought for so valiantly.

Long story or short, all tales must come to an end. Ms. Maddox, an English teacher here at NCHS gave the following advice. “Utilizing a rough draft and having a peer audience can help.” So to all potential young authors, good luck out there!