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Planning a draft

​​In a nutshell

Planning a draft is the process of thinking and creating a first version of a piece of writing. This could be a letter, an email, a story or a speech. This summary will help you in planning a draft for your next piece of writing.

Deciding what to write

Before creating the draft, you need to know what it is that you are planning to write. Once you have decided, whether it is a letter or story that you want to write, you can look at style models to help organise your ideas. For example, if you wanted to write a letter, you would look at other letters to see how the writing is set out.

English; Writing process; KS2 Year 3; Planning a draft


Once you have finished deciding what you want to write, it is now time to plan. There are many different ways to plan a draft and organise your ideas. Here are some of the most useful:

  • Brainstorm character arcs or story arcs. An arc describes what is going to happen to the character or in the story. You can write them separately and then after you are finished, look at how you want to order everything.

  • Write a summary about what you want to write first. A short paragraph that tells you all the important details is a good way to start. You can then use this summary as a guide to help you set out the order of your writing. 

  • Draw three large circles. The first circle will be for what you want to include in the beginning of your piece of writing. The second circle will be for what you want to include in the middle. The last circle will be for what you want to write at the end.

  • Mind map! This is a fun way to explore all the different ideas you may want to include in your writing. Don't worry about organising just yet, you can always do that after you have finished the mind map. Make sure to use different colours for different ideas! This will also help you to sort out similar topics when it comes to organising afterwards.

Writing a fairy tale

Planning a draft can be done in different ways, but here are some steps you can follow if you are creating, for example, a fairy tale. Remember that these steps are just suggestions and that your planning may look different.

Step 1.

Create your hero or heroine
  • Some common traits of heroes or heroines is that they are kind or humble.
  • Try and make this character someone who the readers can relate to such as an ordinary character the reader can identify with who changes throughout the story.

Step 2.

Create your villain
  • There can't be a fairy tale without a villain - create an evil character to test your heroes ability and cause them some pain.
  • The villain in the fairy tale will cause conflict and they will be the reason why your hero cannot achieve their goals.

Step 3.

Decide on the moral of your fairy tale
  • A moral is an important lesson that the reader learns when they have finished reading the story.
  • For example, the moral of Cinderella is showing kindness to everyone.

Step 4.

Add the magical element
  • The magic is the best part of any fairy tale! This is the thing that helps guide your hero to their happy ending.
  • When creating the magical element, have a go at thinking about what if questions - 'What if a dog can talk?'; 'What if flowers can walk?'
  • Remember, anything can have magical powers in fairy tales, even everyday objects.

Step 5.

Describe the setting
  • Setting is important because it creates the mood for your story - a dark tower gives a gothic mood whereas a nice little cottage gives a cosy, warm feeling.
  • Play around with different types of setting. It can be set in the past or maybe in the future.

Step 6.

Remember the happily ever after...
  • ​The most important part of your fairy tale is the happy ending.
  • Think about your happy ending - How was the villain defeated? How did the hero survive?

Now that you have some guidance in writing your very own fairy tale, why not try it yourself. Whether it's a deep dark adventure through the misty forest or a magical afternoon tea with the mushrooms, have a go at planning your own story! 

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

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