I'm doing a course on how to write stories for children. I still don't have a clear plot idea for my next project, but I'll keep on thinking.
Usually, I start writing without much previous planning, but in the course they say that's a big mistake.
Today I've written the bones of a possible story. There goes:
First sentence: It had happened again.
A school bully, Tom, makes fun of Will and calls him fat. Funny thing is the bully is twice his size.
Will doesn’t want to go back home and confide in his Mum so he goes to the park. There he sees a group of clouds that touch the ground. He walks towards them and finds a tunnel.
He walks down the tunnel and finds an old man with a white beard who asks him what his number one wish would be. Will says he’d like to be thin.
The man grants his wish. He tells him he’ll only stay thin as long as he is in Cloudland. Will says he’ll stay forever, but then he realizes his Mum must be worried and goes back home. The man tells him he can return whenever he wants.
When he gets back home, his Mum is awfully worried. She tells him she was about to call the police. Hugs him and tells him she loves him.
Two days later, the bully starts taunting Will in the playground again. He also makes fun of his friend, Sue, who has Asperger’s. They get into a fight and are taken into the principal’s office.
Will goes to the tunnel again. He asks the man why he can’t stay thin forever. The man says he has to learn to earn his wishes. Will doesn’t understand what he means.
Will’s Mum and Dad confront him. The principal had called them and told them everything. They tell him he’s not fat, just plump. They say he’ll grow out of it. His Mum hugs him and says he’s the handsomest little guy in the world. Will thinks of telling her about the tunnel but decides not to. She would not believe him.
The bully doesn’t say anything for a few days. He’s afraid of getting detention again. But a week later he follows Will and Sue when they go to the park and starts calling them names. Will takes Sue by the hand and they both disappear into the tunnel. The bully tries to follow them but can’t.
The man with the white beard asks Sue what her wish would be. She says she would love to be like the other children. Her Asperger’s disappears. Will doesn’t say anything but he realizes he prefers the real Sue.
Will’s English teacher tells the children to write about their lives for their next class. When it is Tom’s turn to read his story aloud, he refuses, but the teacher insists. Will finds out Tom’s father died when he was little. His mother has to work long hours and he’s always home alone. He feels sorry for him.
In the playground, Tom calls Will fat again. Will has had enough. No matter what his life is like, Tom doesn’t have the right to insult other people. He tells him he’s a lot fatter himself, which he had never dared to say before. Tom is dumbstruck. He goes away.
Will goes to Cloudland one last time and tells the man he has finally accepted his weight. He’s happy the way he is. He says his Mum has told him his Dad used to be chubby too and now is very thin. Before he leaves the man tells him to exercise more and use his PlayStation less often. Will smiles. When hell freezes over, he thinks.