What Is Your Story About?

16th November 2021
2 min read
4th January 2022

A starter exercise in figuring out what your story is about, taken from A Writer's Journal Workbook.

A Writer's Journal Workbook

This is an exercise to find the identity of your story. Don’t worry if you only have a vague idea to start with.

Example: My story is about… a Latina single mother… who wants to run for president.

Once you have a rough idea of what you want to write about, you can take away anything that doesn’t belong in your story.

Knowing what your story is about helps you to keep your ideas more focused.


Writing Exercise: My Story Is About

Set a timer for twenty minutes, write longhand.

Explore. If you get lost, come back to the starter sentence.

Starter sentence: My story is about…


Lucy van Smit is an award-winning author, a screenwriter, and an artist who regrets selling off most of her paintings to pay the rent. After boy trouble, Lucy dropped out of Art School for a year, ran away to New York and dared herself to sell encyclopaedias door-to-door in America. She got her BA Hons in Fine Art, blagged a job in TV, travelled worldwide for NBC News, flew on Air Force One with President Reagan, got surrounded by tanks at Manila airport during a coup, before she chilled and made documentaries for Canadian TV on writers like John Le Carre and Ian McEwan. Lucy is dyslexic with a Distinction in MA Creative Writing. Her debut YA novel The Hurting (Chicken House) won the inaugural Bath Children’s Novel Award. One of six siblings, Lucy lives in London.

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