Step-by-step Story Writing

For you, my young English learner, writing a story in 20 or more words must be as easy as ABC. This is what you are expected to do in the Reading and Writing paper Part 7 of the Cambridge A2 Flyers exam.

If you are preparing for the A2 Key or A2 Key for Schools (KET) exam, you must write the story in 35 words or more in Part 7 of the Reading and Writing paper.

Find more about the A2 exams format in the following post Cambridge English Exams. If you would like to know about these levels’ qualifications, check out this article Cambridge English Qualifications.  

Besides the small number of words to be written, A2 exam candidates are given three picture prompts. Let’s see what the main similarity and difference is between A2 Flyers pictures and the A2 Key ones.

A2 Flyers

 Look at the three pictures. Write about this story. Write 20 or more words. 

Write a story A2 Flyers

A2 Key

Look at the three pictures. Write the story shown in the pictures. Write 35 words or more.

As you can see, the A2 Flyers pictures are colourful, which is much more to a young learner’s taste, while the A2 Key ones are black and white. Although the first set sparks candidates’ imagination a lot faster, you shouldn’t worry. You are going to do a brilliant job!

So, talking about the stories content in part 7 of the A2 Reading and Writing paper, the number of words is indeed important. Writing about the three pictures is a must as well. You can easily manage this.

Today, however, you will learn HOW to write your story successfully, step by step. Let’s focus on vocabulary and grammar resource, as well as organisation matters.

The five steps below include the following stages:

  1. Pre-writing
    • Brainstorming
  2. Writing
    • Connecting
    • Dialogue
    • Past tenses
  3. Post-writing
    • Proofreading

Ready, steady, go!

write a story a2

Story writing step ONE

“What can I see in the pictures?”

  • Look at the three pictures above. Take each picture in turn and write down 4 or more words (nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs). There is one example for you. 

PEOPLE

family

FEELINGS & OPINIONS     

pretty

ACTIONS

say goodbye

THINGS

houses

PLACES

outside

WEATHER & SEASON

fine

PEOPLE: family, son, boy,  friend, classmate, people, crowds, riders

FEELINGS & OPINIONS: happy, great, friendly, careful, fast, noisy, ready

ACTIONS: say goodbye, go out, ride, meet, talk, decide, enter a competition

THINGS: houses, bicycle, helmet, t-shirt, trainers, tent, trees

PLACES: outside, on the street, in the park, in the forest, next to a gate, in the queue

WEATHER & SEASON: fine, spring, sunny

A2 story connection

Story writing step TWO

“How do I link and connect my words and sentences?”

There are events in every story. So, how do we connect them? The reader needs to easily follow the story line, from the first picture to the third.

  • Do you know any connectors or linking words, like first and next? Write them down.

First & next,

later & then,

after & before,

when & while,

and & because

but & so,

finally & DONE!

  • Join these sentences. There are many ways you can put these short sentences together. You will need to make other changes. E.g. It’s Saturday, so John decided to go cycling.
  1. It’s Saturday. John decided to go cycling.
  2. He put on his helmet. He got on his bike.
  3. His parents went out. They wanted to say goodbye to their son.
  4. John was riding his bicycle. He saw his classmate, Freddy.
  5. They stopped to talk. Freddy suggested that they go cycling together in the park. 
  6. Both friends went to the park. They saw a lot of people there.
  7. There was a cycling competition. There were tents, spectators and cyclists at the starting line.
  8. Freddy wanted to take part in the competition. He told John about it.
  9. They asked the organizers. It was too late to join.
  10. The classmates felt sad. They hoped to participate in the next cycling event.
  1. It’s Saturday, so John decided to go cycling.
  2. Before John got on his helmet, he put on his helmet.
  3. His parents went out because they wanted to say goodbye to their son.
  4. While John was riding his bicycle, he saw his classmate, Freddy.
  5. So, they stopped to talk. And Freddy suggested that they go cycling together in the park.
  6. When both friends arrived at the park, they saw a lot of people there.
  7. Then they saw tents, spectators and many more cyclists. There was even a starting point because there was a cycling competition.
  8. Freddy wanted to take part in the competition and asked John if he would also like to join him.
  9. After that, they asked the organizers, but they said it was too late to join in.
  10. So, the classmates felt sad, but they hoped to participate in the next cycling event.
A2 story dialogue

Story writing step THREE

“What did the main characters say to each other?”

There is almost no story without a dialogue. So, let’s include this great story ingredient! Think about what any of the characters might say or a two-line conversation between them. 

Here is an example for you. Look attentively at the speech marks.

“Be careful and have a great time!” said John’s parents.

“Would you like to cycle in the park with me?” asked Freddy.

“It’s too late to join the competition,” answered the man.

  • Read the sentences below. Find and correct the punctuation mistakes. 
  1. Shall we go cycling in the park? Asked Freddy.
  2. “Great idea” said John.
  3. “we’d like to join the competition” said John.
  4.  “i’m sorry, you can not. It’s too late. Answered the man.
  5. “Don’t worry. We’ll participate next month,” Said John.
  1. “Shall we go cycling in the park?” asked Freddy.
  2. “Great idea!” said John.
  3.  “We’d like to join the competition,” said John.
  4.  “I’m sorry, you can not. It’s too late,” answered the man.
  5. “Don’t worry! We’ll participate next month,” said John.

Story writing step FOUR

“Have I shown I control the past tenses?”

Stories retell events that have already happened. So, past simple and past continuous must be used in your story. This is not obligatory for the A2 Flyers candidates. However, why not give it a try? 

  • Read the story below. Present simple and present continuous have been used. Try and change them into past tenses.

It’s Saturday. The weather is fine. John decides to go out and ride his new bicycle. While he is cycling, he sees his classmate Freddy. He is also riding his bicycle. “Why don’t we go to the park?” asks Freddy. “Amazing! It’s not far from here,” says John. When they arrive, they see a crowd. “What are they organizing?” asks Freddy. The friends go closer and see a starting line and a lot of cyclists who are waiting there. Freddy wants to take part in the race, but they can’t because it’s too late. “Let’s see who wins!” says John. “Great idea!” answers Freddy. The first who arrives at the finishing line is their Maths teacher. “Congratulations!” says everyone.

A2 story proofreading

Story writing step FIVE

“Have I made any spelling or grammar mistakes?”

It is very important to check for mistakes before you hand in your answers. This is called proofreading. Leave 3-4 minutes to make sure your story is mistake-free!

  • Read the story. There are thirteen vocabulary and grammar mistakes. Find and correct them. 

One suny morning, John decided to go four a bike ride. “Have a great day!” sayed his parents. When John arrived near to the park, he met her classmate, Freddy. “let’s go cycling together,” suggest John. Later, they sow a lot of cyclists at the starting line. Both friends wanted to participate, and it was two late. So, they decided to take part at the race next time. “We are going to practise, and we will win!” said Freddy. “i can’t wait!” replyed John.

One sunny morning, John decided to go for a bike ride. “Have a great day!” said his parents. When John arrived near to the park, he met his classmate, Freddy. “Let‘s go cycling together,” suggested John. Later, they saw a lot of cyclists at the starting line. Both friends wanted to participate, but it was too late. So, they decided to take part in the race next time. “We are going to practise, and we will win!” said Freddy. “I can’t wait!” replied John.

Write a story

Together we have looked at the five important steps to write a successful story in the A2 Cambridge exams. 

Now, I’ve got a special treat for you! 

  • Look at the three pictures below. They tell a story. Follow the steps above and write your story. 
a2 write a story
A2 write a story
a2 write a story

Share your story with our English learning community!

Stay tuned for more words of advice and handy material!

Share article