Monday 15 June 2015

Write your Own Adventure Stories by Paul Dowswell and Paul Hoppe (Usborne Publishing)

Write your own Adventure Stories

Written by Paul Dowswell (and YOU!)

Illustrated by Paul Hoppe

Published by Usborne Publishing

This is another fantastic activity book from Usborne, along very similar lines to the fabulous "Write and Draw your own Comics" (which we reviewed and raved about not so long ago). With the same awesome format - a hard-backed book with a spiral-bound but protected spine, so it lays perfectly flat while you're drawing on its rich innards for inspiration, you'll soon be off to a flying start making up your own stories.

We were instantly drawn to the cover (basically, any book that has big clanky spidery steampunk-looking alien invaders gets an instant "win" from us) and quite early on we were both nodding in recognition of Paul's early analogy of what it's like to write a story. A big picture of a mountain describing the various stages of story (setting up and introducing your characters, something happening, perhaps a cataclysmic action-packed event or two before you start to wind down to a conclusion and resolution). Writing is very much like climbing a mountain and Charlotte really bought into the idea as we started to flesh out a joint story idea.

Making a map to aid your story really does help! 

(Our character - A pig who just happens to be A) called Merlin and B) is very happy. Merlin's curiosity often leads him into trouble and while ignoring his mum and dad, Merlin decides to explore a deep dank cave from which the most delicious smells are emanating. Will Merlin's curiosity and rumbly tummy lead him into trouble? If you comment below we might well reveal the FULL TERRIFYING STORY!)

Getting into the action, making word clouds (and here's a handy hint, arm yourselves with post-it notes if you don't want to scribble directly on this gorgeous book!)

Back to the book, and the various tutorials and ideas are actually laid out a lot like the chapters of a story book themselves. Story themes and genres are explored, as are the various means and methods to help really shape your story (we particularly love the idea of making a story map with key locations and events drawn on for good measure).

Sadly, all good things have to come to an end - including your story. But sometimes wrapping things up can be the hardest part!
We both thoroughly enjoyed this book (Charlotte whisked it off to school to show her story-mad teacher, and I found myself sneaking it out of Charlotte's book case for a bit of divine inspiration for my own terrible meandering stories). If you or your children want some expert tips from a visually stimulating and activity-packed book, this will definitely fit the bill.

"Write and Draw your Own Adventure Stories" is out now from Usborne Publishing. 

Charlotte's best bit: Story maps and word clouds to help really get a story idea under way!

Daddy's Favourite bit: A fantastically presented story-dreamer's bible, a completely essential purchase for you and your kids if you're starting out writing your own stories. 

(Kindly sent to us for review by Usborne Publishing)

Like this? We think you'll love these too!

Write and Draw your own Comics (Usborne Publishing)