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How to Structure Your Creative Writing for GCSE (with Creative Writing Examples!)

Posted on August, 2022

A girl writing down something on her bed

Having plenty of ideas for creative writing is one thing, but nailing down the right structure can be a bit more challenging.

There are several steps for children to think about before they begin writing, and that includes creating a structure or plan for how their story will flow.

Creative writing is all about grabbing the reader’s attention immediately, so children in their GCSE years need to understand the importance of structure when writing, in order to organise their ideas and make sure their work reads cohesively.

In this post we will go through everything your child needs to know from paragraphing, to creating a satisfying ending, providing examples along the way to demonstrate the best way to structure their creative writing.

How to Structure Your Creative Writing

There are several types of creative writing questions that could come up on the GCSE reading and writing exam , and more often than not, there will be the option to either write creatively based on an image, or a made-up scenario.

Regardless of the question type, having a solid structure for longer creative writing questions and exercises helps to ensure your child is prepared.

By using a structure that helps to organise your child’s ideas, it helps their writing to flow, and allows your child to become more confident in their creative writing process.

Planning is more important than you might think, as mark schemes from most exam boards include ‘well-controlled paragraphs’ or something very similar within the top band of criteria for creative writing.

Therefore, children should practise planning out creative writing structures well before their writing exam, giving them time to get into the habit of always providing themselves with a simple, but focussed idea of what they are going to write.

First of all, paragraphing is central to creative writing as this is what keeps the structure solid.

In order to stick to a creative writing structure, children must know exactly when to end and start a new paragraph, and how much information each paragraph should contain.

For example, introducing the main character, diving into the action of the story, and providing 10 descriptive sentences of the weather and location, could be separated and spread throughout for impact.

Structuring a creative writing piece also involves creating an appropriate timeline of events and mapping out exactly where the story will go from start to finish. This is assuming the writing piece is in sequential order. Occasionally, there may be a question that requires a non-sequential order.

This list below details every section in a creative writing piece and should look something like this:

With this structure it is important to bear in mind that for the GCSE reading and creative writing exam , children will be expected to spend about 50 minutes on the creative writing section, so it’s vital to get them into the habit of planning their writing first; as with anything, practice makes perfect

We will dive deeper into the creative writing structure further on in this post, but first, let us go through the importance of paragraphing, and how TipTop paragraphs can help to improve children’s writing.

boy in red jumper writing

Paragraphing and TipTop Paragraphs

Before children begin to plan out the structure of their stories, it’s essential that they know the importance of paragraphing correctly first.

At this stage of learning, your child should be comfortable in knowing what a paragraph is, and understand that they help with the layout of their stories throughout the whole writing process.

Paragraphs essentially help to organise ideas into dedicated sections of writing based on your childs ideas. For example having a paragraph for an introduction, then another paragraph introducing the main character. This means your child’s writing will be in a logical order, and will direct the reader further on into the writing.

To avoid your child straying from their creative writing structure and overloading paragraphs with too much information, there is a simple way to remind them of when they need to start a new paragraph.

Using the TipTop acronym is such an easy way for you to encourage your child to think about when they need to change paragraphs, as it stands for:

When moving to a different time or location, bringing in a new idea or character, or even introducing a piece of action or dialogue, your child’s writing should be moving on to new paragraphs.

During creative writing practice, your child can ask themselves a series of questions to work out whether they need to move onto a new paragraph to keep their story flowing and reach that top band of criteria.

For example:

By providing opportunities to practise creative writing, this will help your child to get into the habit of asking themselves these questions as they write, meaning they will stick to the plan they have created beforehand.

Now it’s time to get into the all-important creative writing structure.

A teenager writing something at his desk

Creative Writing Structure

Producing a creative writing structure should be a simple and straightforward process for your child, as it just involves organising the different sections of their writing into a logical order.

First we need to start at the beginning, by creating an engaging opening for any piece of writing that will grab the reader’s attention.

This leads us nicely onto step 1…

1. Creating an Engaging Opening

There are several ways to engage the reader in the opening of a story, but there needs to be a specific hook within the first paragraph to ensure the reader continues on.

This hook could be the introduction of a word that the reader isn’t familiar with, or an imaginary setting that they don’t recognise at all, leaving them questioning ‘what does this all mean?’

It may be that your child opens their story by introducing a character with a description of their appearance, using a piece of dialogue to create a sense of mystery, or simply describing the surroundings to set the tone. This ‘hook’ is crucial as it sets the pace for the rest of the writing and if done properly, will make the reader feel invested in the story.

Additionally, it’s important to include a piece of information or specific object within the opening of the creative writing, as this provides something to link back to at the end, tying the whole storyline together neatly.

Engaging Opening Examples:

2. Complication

Providing a complication gets the storyline rolling after introducing a bit of mystery and suspense in the opening.

Treat this complication like a snowball that starts small, but gradually grows into something bigger and bigger as the storyline unfolds.

This complication could be that a secret has been told, and now the main character needs to try and stop it from spreading. Alternatively, you could introduce a love interest who catches the attention of your main character.

In this section, there should be a hint towards a future challenge or a problem to overcome (which will be fleshed out in the development and climax sections) to make the reader slightly aware of what’s to come.

Complication Example:

3. Development

The development leads on from the last section well, as it adds a little bit more information onto the complication that has just been introduced.

This section is when your child should start to think about the slow build-up to the climax of the writing piece. For example, the secret that was passed on in the compilation stage, has now been passed to more than just one person, making it more difficult to contain.

This is where your child should really focus on creating suspense in their creative writing and build up the tension to keep the reader’s interest as they move closer to the climax section of the storyline.

Development Example:

The climax is the section that the whole story should be built around.

Before creating a structure like this one, your child should have an idea in mind that the story will be based on, which is usually some sort of shocking, emotion-provoking event.

This may be love, loss, battle, death, mystery, crime or several other events that the story can be built up to, but this needs to be the pivotal point and the most exciting part of the story so far.

Your child may choose to have something go drastically wrong for their main character, but they equally need to come up with a way of working this problem into their turning point and resolution sections, so the story can be resolved and come to a close.

Climax Example:

5. Turning Point or Exposition

Now that the climax is over and the problem or shocking event has been revealed to the reader, this section becomes the turning point of the story, and is essential in keeping the reader’s interest until the very end.

If something has gone wrong (which it usually does within the climax), this is the time to begin resolving it, and keep in mind this does not always have to result in a happy ending.

It’s important to remember that turning points can equally come at other points during the creative writing piece, as it signifies a moment of major narrative shift.

So, even in shorter creative writing pieces, turning points can be included earlier on to keep the reader engaged.

The whole premise of creative writing is for your child to create a story on their own terms, so their idea of an effective turning point may be different to yours.

However, it’s important not to lose the suspense in this section, as although the climax is over, it can be easy to give away the ending too soon.

Turning Point Example:

6. A Resolution or Convincing Close

The resolution should highlight the change in the story, so the tone must be slightly different.

At this stage, the problem is resolved (happily or unhappily) and lessons are learnt. It’s important this bittersweetness is highlighted in the close of the story.

It is also essential that the resolution or end of the story isn’t rushed, as it needs to be believable for the reader right until the very end. The story should be rounded off in a way that allows the reader to feel exactly how the protagonist is feeling, as this creates emotion and allows your reader to feel fully involved and remain interested.

Remember the piece of information or specific object that was included in the story’s opening?

Well this is the time to bring that back, and tie all of those loose ends together. You want to leave the reader with something to think about, and perhaps even asking questions as this shows they have really invested in the story..

Resolution Example:

A person giving a thumbs up

In order to better prepare your children for creative writing in their GCSE years, providing allocated time to practise is essential.

Planning out a structure for any piece of creative writing helps to ensure children know exactly how their piece will flow, and how they can manage their time within the reading and writing GCSE exam.

This creative writing structure can be used for the various creative writing questions that may come up on the exam, from short stories, to describing an event or a story behind an image.

Each creative writing piece should be focused around the climactic event, which is built up to in the beginning and resolved in the end.

When it comes to preparing for their GSCE’s, having a tutor can be a huge advantage as it allows children to focus more on specific areas.

At Redbridge Tuition , our tutors are experienced in learning from KS2 to GCSE, and we can provide the resources your child needs to flourish.

Get in touch to find out how our tutors could help .

Want a free consultation?

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gcse creative writing plan

Insider GCSE Creative Writing Tips + 106 Prompts From Past Papers

by Hayley | Mar 9, 2023 | Exams , Writing | 0 comments

gcse creative writing plan

Are you feeling a little bit twitchy about your child’s English GCSE writing task?

Sciences and humanities – although sometimes daunting in their content – seem a fair bet as ‘revisable’ topics. But the creative writing element of the English Language GCSE is less knowable and ultimately more of a frightening prospect for a student keen to do well.

What is the GCSE writing element of the GCSE Language Paper?

There are 5 key GCSE exam boards: AQA , OCR , Pearson Edexcel , WJEC Eduqas and CCEA . Each board sets their own papers which may appear much the same at first glance (bizarrely they all have a similar front cover layout and fonts). Certainly there is plenty of overlap between their mark schemes and the comments and tips they share in their Examiner Reports.

However, as with all your child’s other subjects, it is essential to know which exam board they are preparing for. You may be surprised to discover that schools pick and choose boards by subject, perhaps choosing AQA for chemistry and OCR for mathematics. Individual school departments have their own preferences. My brother teaches at a school where their English Literature and English Language exams have been split between two different boards. This is unusual though, not the norm!

What forms (question formats) can the test take?

It varies by board.

The AQA board has a writing task in their Question Paper 1 called Explorations in creative reading and writing . Students are given two prompts to choose between. The AQA board also has a second persuasive writing task in Paper 2 called Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives.

Jump ahead to AQA creative writing and persuasive writing prompts from past GCSE papers

The Pearson/Edexcel international iGCSE favoured by many UK private schools has two prompts to choose between for each section. The student is asked to complete a piece of transactional writing (perhaps a persuasive speech or an advertisement leaflet) and additionally a piece of imaginative writing.

Jump ahead to Pearson/Edexcel transactional writing and imaginative writing prompts from past GCSE papers

Interestingly, the WJEC Eduqas board favours non-fiction writing. Unit 2 Reading and Writing: Description, Narration and Exposition gives two prompts to choose between, for an account and an essay perhaps, and Unit 3: Reading and Writing: Argumentation, Persuasion and Instructional sets up a letter, or similar.

Jump ahead to WJEC Eduqas non-fiction writing prompts from past GCSE papers

The OCR board offers two prompts to choose between. One might be a talk for other students and the other might be a letter on a difficult subject .

Jump ahead to OCR creative writing prompts from past GCSE papers

The CCEA board has a writing task in called “ Writing for Purpose and Audience and Reading to Access Non-fiction and Media Texts” and a second writing task which offers a choice between personal writing and creative writing.

Jump ahead to CCEA persuasive writing, personal writing, and creative prompts from past GCSE papers

How long do students have to craft their piece of writing?

Creative writing tests are timed at either 45 minutes or 1 hour. The last thing your child will need is to prepare to write for an hour, only to find they have just three-quarters of an hour on the day. If in doubt, insist that they check with their teacher.

AQA students are given 45 minutes to produce their writing response. The introduction advises: ‘ You are reminded of the need to plan your answer. You should leave enough time to check your work at the end.’ What this means is that 30–35 minutes max is what’s really allowed there for the writing itself.

Pearson/Edexcel allows 45 minutes for each of the two writing tasks.

OCR students are given an hour to complete this section of their exam. The introduction states: ‘You are advised to plan and check your work carefully,’ so they will expect the writing itself to take 45–50 minutes.

How long should the completed GCSE writing task be?

Interestingly, although the mark schemes all refer to paragraphingthey don’t state how many paragraphs they expect to see.

‘A skilfully controlled overall structure, with paragraphs and grammatical features used to support cohesion and achieve a range of effects’ (OCR)
‘Fluently linked paragraphs with seamlessly integrated discourse markers’ (AQA)

Why? Because management of paragraph and sentence length is a structural technique available to the student as part of their writers’ toolkit. If the number of optimal paragraphs were to be spelled out by the board, it would have a negative impact on the freedom of the writer to use their paragraphs for impact or to manage the pace of the reader.

For a general guide I would expect to see 3 to 5 paragraphs in a creative piece and 5 paragraphs in a persuasive piece. Leaflets have a different structure entirely and need to be set out in a particular form to achieve the top notes of the mark scheme.

What are the examiners looking for when they are marking a student’s creative writing paper?

There are two assessment objectives for the writing itself:

As a GCSE English nerd, I really enjoy delving deeper into the Examiner Reports that each board brings out once the previous cohort’s papers have been marked. They are a fascinating read and never disappoint…

Within their pages, examiners spell out the differences they have spotted between the stronger and the weaker responses.

For example, a creative task set by the AQA board was to describe a photograph of a town at sunset. The examiners explained that some of the strongest responses imagined changes in the scene as darkness descended. They enjoyed reading responses that included personification of the city, and those that imagined the setting in the past, or the weariness of the city. Weaker candidates simply listed what was in the picture or referred directly to the fact it was an image. This chronological-list approach weakened the structure of their work.

No surprises that some weaker students relied heavily on conversation. (As an exam marker myself, I dreaded reading acres of uninspiring direct speech.)

Pearson/Edexcel explain that weaker persuasive pieces (in this case on the value of television) simply listed pros and cons rather than developed ideas fully to clarify their own opinions. The higher-level responses here were quirky and engaging, entertaining the reader with a range of appropriate techniques and making the argument their own.

What accommodations are possible for students who have specific learning difficulties?

The UK Government’s Guide for Schools and Colleges 2022: GCSE, AS and A Levels includes information about changes to assessments to support ‘disabled students.’ Their definition of disabled includes specific learning difficulties (dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, ADD, ASD etc).

Exam boards can make a wide range of adjustments to their assessments. Some of the most common adjustments are:

The exam board will expect paperwork to be in place where your child’s specific needs are formally reported by an appropriate professional (Educational Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist, Consultant). The report needs to be recent, but how recent is difficult to confirm.

If your child is likely to need adjustments to their access arrangements you will need to discuss this with their school in plenty of time before the exam itself.

A close friend of mine realised in the final few weeks before her son’s GCSE exams that his tinnitus would have a negative impact on his performance. She approached the school to ask if he might take his exams in a separate room to minimise noise disturbance. Unfortunately, it was far too late by then to apply, and her son was denied the request.

Your child’s school will explain the process for applying for special arrangements and will be able to advise you on what your expectations should be. Never presume your child will be given what they need – but plenty of requests are successful, so stay positive and make sure your paperwork is in order beforehand.

Tips and strategies for writing a high scoring GCSE creative writing paper:

1.         learn the formats.

Know the different formats and conventions of the different GCSE writing tasks. There is a standard layout for a leaflet, for example, where including contact details and a series of bullet points is part of the mark scheme. Not knowing these conventions will knock back a student’s score.

2.         Plan ahead

Prepare a planning structure for each of the written forms you might encounter during the exam. It may need to be flexed on the day, but it will banish fear of the blank page and allow you to get started.

3.         Prepare sentence-openings

Familiarise yourself with appropriate sentence-openings for each type of GCSE writing task. Fronted adverbials of time and place will improve the quality of a creative piece, whereas access to varied and specific conjunctions might push up the mark of a transactional piece.

4.         Check your speaking

Ask your family to check your speech at home. Every now and then try to flip a sentence into formal language, using more interesting synonyms for your usual spoken vocabulary. This will help you to write formally on paper, avoiding colloquialisms.

5.         Forget finishing

Finishing is less important than you might imagine. Sloppy, hurried work is your enemy. GCSE examiners will follow your clear planning and mark you accordingly, even if you’ve not managed to complete that final paragraph.

6.         Note the details

The question often gives additional information the examiner would like to see included. Note it in your plan to make sure it doesn’t get forgotten.

7.         Start strong

Use your best sentence-opener at the start of each paragraph. It will set you up as someone to be taken seriously.

8.         Cut back dialogue

Keep dialogue contained in a single paragraph. Focus on description of the speaker and their actions before noting the second character’s reply.

9.         Revise

Do this by prepping work as above. Nothing beats it.

Would you like me to transform your child’s writing in my higher writing club?

Each week in my higher writing club , we spend 20 minutes on Zoom together. After the task has been introduced, the students write for 15 minutes. Next, they upload their work for 1:1 video marking.

There is no point prepping essays/creative pieces for the GCSE English Language exam if your child’s writing is poor. First, their scruffy presentation, attention to detail, punctuation, grammar and vocabulary need to be addressed.

After 2 months in the higher writing club your child’s written technique and fluency will be transformed by our 1–2-1 video marking system (consistent messaging is achieved by matching your child with their own teacher).

Each weekly activity is drawn directly from the GCSE English Language Subject Content and Assessment Objectives , published by the English Department of Education.

Here’s an example of a student’s writing, BEFORE they joined our club:

Handwriting and creative writing sample from a GCSE level student - before online writing lessons

It is chaotic, poorly-presented and nonsensical. Letter-sizing is confused and the student is clearly anxious and repeatedly scribbling through small errors.

Below is the same student 2 months later:

Handwriting and creative writing sample from a GCSE level student -after 2 months of weekly online writing lessons with Griffin Teaching

Observe the rich vocabulary, authorial techniques (the jagged rocks are ‘like shards of broken glass’) and general fluency and sophistication.

Real and recent GCSE example questions/prompts from each of the 5 key exam boards

Aqa english language gcse questions, paper 2 writers’ viewpoints and perspectives:.

Paper 1 Explorations in creative reading and writing:

Image of a man with a beard, example image to use as a GCSE creative writing prompt

image of a market scene to use as a creative writing prompt

image of a round entrance to a spooky scene to use as a gcse creative writing prompt

OCR English Language GCSE Questions

Paper: communicating information and ideas.

Paper: Exploring effects and impact

Pearson Edexcel English Language iGCSE Questions

Paper 1: transactional writing.

Paper 2: Imaginative Writing

two images to choose to use as a story starter for a gcse creative writing prompt that begins with "I did not have time for this"

two images to use for GCSE creative writing practice. Image 1 is of a woman on top of a mountain at sunset, the second image is of a harbour at sunset with a bridge in the field of view

Two images to use as GCSE writing prompts. Students are asked to choose one and start their story with the words "I decided to get on with it"

Two images to use as GCSE writing prompts. The first shows two children sitting at a table lit by candles, the second is of a city scene with half of the buildings lit up and the other half shrouded in darkness

two example images students can use while revising for the GCSE wri5ting task. Both are on the theme of reading.

Two images from past GCSE papers to use as a prompt for creative writing.

Two images of presents that students can use to start a story with "it was an unusual gift."

WJEC Eduqas English Language GCSE Questions

Unit 2 reading and writing: description, narration and exposition.

Unit 3: Reading and Writing: Argumentation, Persuasion and Instructional

CCEA English Language GCSE Questions

Unit 1: writing for purpose and audience and reading to access non-fiction and media texts.

Unit 4: Personal or Creative Writing and Reading Literacy and Non-fiction Texts

Picture of a family waiting at an airport.

picture of two elderly men playing soccer

picture of a two people mountain climbing

Get 1:1 Support and Personalized Feedback on Your GCSE Creative Writing Practice

For 1–2-1 writing support for your pre-GCSE child, join the Griffin Teaching Higher Writing Club—online weekly writing classes specifically tailored to English GCSE creative writing preparation.

In just 20 minutes per week and their writing will be transformed.

gcse creative writing plan

gcse creative writing plan

Story Plan Generator

This story plan generator can currently generate unique plans from available options .

Write a story about:

GCSE English Language Creative Story Writing Model Answers and Practice. Grade 9 exam guidance from an experienced, qualified GCSE teacher and examiner.

From only £4.99

This book is ideal for helping students improve their creative story writing for the GCSE English Language exams. Each chapter contains an exam task and a planning checklist designed to help students do regular timed writing practice.

There are also twelve complete model stories to help students understand what a good exam story looks like. Each model story demonstrates the powerful vocabulary choices, the insightful characterisation and the technical accuracy the examiners are looking for.

The book is rounded off with in-depth exam board information and suggestions for further reading.

The book is an excellent guide for all exam boards, including AQA and Cambridge IGCSE.

Click Plan Your Story!  and see a story plan appear before your eyes. Click Copy Plan to copy the plan to your clipboard for pasting into other documents. You can change individual parts of the plan by simply clicking on the section you want to change – a new random element will be chosen. Or, you can reset the whole plan by clicking  Reset to clear the plan and start again. Feel free to keep planning stories. You won’t run out!

This tool is designed for students preparing for the GCSE English Language exams. Specifically, it exists to help students with the planning process for stories which are a part of every GCSE English Language course and account for around 25% of marks available (depending on the exam board). The aim of the plan is to provide a model for good story planning whilst also speeding up the planning process, getting students’ imaginations whirring and suggesting new, intriguing and challenging ideas for stories.

Of course. Click View Options to see a blank plan. Fill in as many of the blank options as you want and then select Complete Your Plan! to finish the job.

Most students find it easier to write stories where characters are the same age. For that reason, although the age range is chosen at random, it will be the same for both characters. If you have a great idea for a story with characters of different ages, use the View Options button to enter the ages yourself before selecting Complete Your Plan! to get the randomiser to work its magic for you.

The generator chooses names at random from a list of 698 names. These are names that have appeared at least once in the top 100 baby names registered in England and Wales since 1904. The data is available from the Office for National Statistics . Of course, if you prefer, give your characters names of your choosing by selecting View Options   before selecting ‘Complete Your Plan’ to get the randomiser to work its magic for you.

The personality pairings are adapted from a number of theories of personality ( The Four Temperaments , Myers-Briggs , The Big Five , HEXACO ) and offer a range of possible personalities for your characters. I recommend giving contrasting personalities to your two characters as that will likely lead to drama and complex characterisation.

It’s true that some of the plan combinations will be unusual (but not impossible). This is because of the random nature of this plan generator. For example, you could get ‘Season: Winter’ and ‘Weather: Heatwave’ which would be an unusual situation for winter. Or, you could get ‘Character’s Age: 80s’ and ‘Theme/genre: Science Fiction’.

If this happens to you, there are a couple of possibilities. You can simply re-run the generator to get a different plan. Better still, you could challenge yourself to write the story. In fact, it might encourage you to write a truly new story. After all, why aren’t there more science fiction stories where the protagonists are in their 80s?

My exam guide offers a range of excellent, Grade 9, model exam answers. You could also consider buying a recent anthology of short stories .

Follow @gcseenglishuk on social media and have a look at my model answers .

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Imaginative Creative Writing Unit 9-1

Imaginative Creative Writing Unit 9-1

Subject: English

Age range: 14-16

Resource type: Lesson (complete)

Miss Gray's Shop (KS3, IGCSE and IB)

Last updated

22 February 2018

pptx, 1.51 MB

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Excellent resource. Very helpful to teach GCSE students

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Excellent resources - thanks for sharing


Very accessible for my struggling boys taking gcse for 3rd time!

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Miss Huttlestone's GCSE English

Because a whole class of wonderful minds are better than just one!

2 Grade 9 Creative Writing Examples

I recently asked my year 11s to pen a piece of description and/or narrative writing for their mini assessment. I gave them the following prompts:

Your school wants you to contribute to a collection of creative writing.

EITHER: Write a short story as suggested by this picture:

gcse creative writing plan

OR: Write a description about a person who has made a strong impression on you.

The following were two COMPELLING and CONVINCING examples of the second choice – one pupil taking ‘you’ as a fictional invitation, the other as a biographical one:


Gradually, I awake and open my eyes only to see the cracked white ceiling which greets me every day. Here I sit, slumped in the bed with the scratchy white sheets hugging me and muffled beeping noises jumping into my ears. Rubbing the sleep crust from my bloodshot eyes, I observe the scene before me. The sound of footsteps overlapping as nurses rush from bed to bed; the metallic tang from stainless steel invading my nostrils; the cold metal bed rail imprisoning and mocking me; the pungent scent of antiseptic troubling me and the blood-curdling cries and moans utterly terrifying me. Using all my strength, I try to imagine I am somewhere else, anywhere else but here.

Crowds, signs, roars: it was 1903 and the suffragette movement had begun. It was a crisp night, refreshing almost and I had taken to the streets. It was like I was possessed by something that night, some urge and deep desire within me that had led me there, surrounded by women like myself. I stood clueless and lost in the crowd; the women yelling ‘Deeds not words’ in unison; passionately parading with large wooden signs and viciously shattering windows with bricks and stones. Despite the violence that was displayed before me, I was not afraid of what was happening and I didn’t deem it unnecessary or improper, in fact I wanted the same as these women, I wanted equality. Abruptly, all of the roars and cheers became muted and faint, one woman walked slowly towards me, her hair messily swooped into an updo, her clothes somewhat dirtied and her chocolate brown corset slightly loosened. There was a glimmer in her eyes as tears seemed to swell within their hazel pools, she seemed inspired, hopeful. After reaching me in the crowd, she held out her hand, gently passing me a sign. Immediately, I clasped it and the yelling and chanting rang loudly in my ears once more. My journey had begun.

Here however, is where it ends. I am aware I do not have much time left, as the doctors have told me so, and spending my last moments in this hospital room is not optimal. However, as I look around I can see beauty within a room which at first glance seems void of it. The hollow medical tubes by my side remind me of the awful act of force feeding I have faced in the past; the shrieks and bawls of patients reflecting the pain women had felt in my time and the bed bars mirroring the prisons we were thrown into and the gates we would chain ourselves too. I know these things may seem far from beautiful, but I can see my past within this room, the power I possessed and the changes I have contributed to today. I know now that I can leave this earth having had an impact. Slowly I close my eyes, I can see her, the women who changed my life many years ago, her name, Emmeline Pankhurst.


I will never forget that day. The hazel pools of her eyes glazed over, and hands delicately placed at her sides. Nobody in the room could quite grasp the fact that this was happening. The crowds of black attire row on row seemed to mimic the thing she loves most in life, the piano. However, this time she had taken the ivory natural keys with her and left everyone else with the sharp tones. You needed both to create beautiful symphonies but all that filled the room was the excruciating silence of her absense. Even the metronone like ticks of the clock seemed to come to a standstill.

It had all began that day, she seemed to open up this whole new world for us to explore together as she placed my fingers onto the keys for the first time. I knew that this was what I was meant to do. She was the most passionately beautiful pianist I had ever seen in my life. Often, I would peer round the oak doorway before my lessons just to catch a glimpse at her. It seemed like nothing in the world mattered to her at the time.

As the years progressed, so did the scope of this world we were exploring. Each sheet of lovingly handwritten sheet music was like a new section of the map we were slowly creating together. Each of her students had their own map. Each as beautiful and each as unique as the pianist. The crotchets and quavers that adorned the staves directed the different paths we could take as my fingers graced the keys. This may not have been a beautiful ballet routine, but this was our dance and it had been carefully choreographed just for us.

That piano room was the safest place in the world. Every inch of it her: the potent scent of her floral perfume; shelves full of scruffy and well loved sheet music; rows upon rows of framed photos of her and her students; the vintage piano which she always kept in tune, it was home. I couldn’t bear the

idea that someone else was going move in and rip away the music room without a second thought. It was her music room.

It was up to me now. Up to me to finish this journey we had begun together.

She may not be with me in person anymore, but she will always live within the world we built together and nothing could ever change that. For she could never truly be gone since she left a piece of her within every one of her students; the passion for piano.


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2 thoughts on “2 Grade 9 Creative Writing Examples”

This has helped me a lot, I myself am preparing for a narrative test like this and these prompts and descriptive short stories are marvellous! Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

My pleasure!

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gcse creative writing plan

Creative Writing | GCSE English Revision Tips | General Advice

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

How to revise for Creative Writing in GCSE English Language.

Medical School application tips

With the GCSE language paper coming up, the creative writing element is one that can easily be overlooked. Perhaps you wonder whether you can really learn how to do well in this part of the section or if it is simply down to talent. However, the key to excellent creative writing exam answers is imagination – using your creativity to come up with things to write.

A struggle that students I teach often find with creative questions is that the prompts are typically broad, and image prompts can be sparse with little detail. Sometimes they might spark inspiration, but sometimes you might be looking at them in despair, wondering what on earth you could write about.

Now, one huge advantage of these open-ended questions is that they allow you to have the prerogative to take the answer where you want it to go; there is no way for them to catch you out for not knowing any information. The broad question or image should not be restrictive: for instance, in a description you do not have to stick exactly to describing what you see; using poetic licence to imagine what might be there is strongly encouraged.

General Hints and Tips for Creative Writing at GCSE

A general piece of advice that I give to my students is to plan the structure of your answer. When you hear “creative writing”, you may not think that a plan would be necessary. However, in the mark schemes of all exam boards, the phrase “well controlled paragraphs”, and “well-structured answer” almost always features in the top band. Of course, you do not need to plan out all your similes and metaphors, but setting yourself out a basic structure of what to say in each paragraph will help it to read more clearly.

A key way to make it clear to the examiner that you know what you are doing is through consistency . Ensure that you have the same tone throughout your creative piece, and that your narrative style and tense remains the same. This way, you can show to the examiner that your narrative choices have been deliberate, and based on the purpose and audience of the brief you have been given.

Each GCSE syllabus has a different way of assessing for the creative writing element. Find your exam board below for some tips on how to tackle the specific exam questions you will be presented with.

How to write a description or a short story - AQA exam board

For the AQA creative writing section in particular, you will be asked to write either a description based on an image, or a short story. For the image description, as well as having a good standard of language, your marks will lie within your ability to use a wide range of language techniques: think metaphors, similes, sensory language, imagery, alliteration etc.

A description of this kind requires you to be very imaginative. If you are stuck on where to begin, look at the image and think about what mood you could extract from it. Does it look spooky? Does it look dangerous? Once you have identified this, try to reflect this mood in the tone of your description.

Some advice that was offered in the November 2017 examiners' report was to ensure that your writing is not too formulaic. For instance, try not to write “I can see… I can smell…” just to ensure you are filling in sensory language: this applies to both the short story and the description. This is perhaps the hardest element of the AQA creative language question: fulfilling all the criteria while making it flow and work as a creative piece.

My advice would be to read over your work after you have finished and try to imagine you are just reading this for fun, outside of the exam context. If it works as a piece of creative writing rather than just as an exam answer, you should be on the right track.

How to answer prompt-based questions - Edexcel exam board

The imaginative writing section of Edexcel requires you to take on a broad prompt, such as the 2017 question “write about a secret” with the aid of an image provided.

For this question, the mark scheme is fairly open as to the approaches you can take. It allows writing in the form of a description, an anecdote, a speech, or a narrative. The image is also only there to provide inspiration – you are not required to reference it directly in your answer if you do not wish to.

A good revision strategy for this question would be to pick a couple of forms that you want to focus on, and practice them before the exam. Then you could pick the form most suited to the question you chose in the exam, and you will be an expert in writing for this form: something that will immediately boost your marks.

A large part of fitting in with the mark scheme is “using appropriate techniques for creative writing”. This may include using a wide vocabulary, imagery, alliteration, similes and metaphors in order to describe and explain.

How to write for purpose – OCR exam board

For the OCR specification, the focus is on writing for purpose and audience . This is a large part of what you are being tested on, so you must always ensure that you identify these two things before you start writing.

In 2017, the options were to write a blog post describing how you successfully overcame a challenging situation, and to write a letter to an employer applying for a job you have always wanted. These two tasks clearly have significantly different purposes and audiences. A blog post would be for the general population, and the tone will need to be readable and informal, whereas the letter to the employer will need to be formal and tailored to the individual reader.

The mark scheme for these questions require you to cover the following areas: tone, style, register, and organisation. The first three in this list will need you to adapt for the purpose and audience. While going over past paper questions, if you’re unsure on how you should write, look up examples of that form online. For instance, looking for a letter to an employer online should give you some good examples, as would looking up examples of newsletter entries or blog posts.

My best piece of advice for OCR’s questions is to practise. Ask a parent or friend to come up with some different forms and audiences for you to write in, and practise adapting your tone, style and register for the different audiences.

OCR have also provided some helpful resources for creative writing (GCSE English Language 9-1 syllabus) .

gcse creative writing plan

Blog Post Crafted by Genevieve

Genevieve is currently working towards her bachelors in English Literature at the University of Warwick .

Born in Coventry, she now tutors English SATs and GCSE in her free time, as well as working for the university as an outreach ambassador in local schools.

She also enjoys playing piano and flute, and often performs as a backing singer at local gigs.

Whenever she has a moment to spare, you might find her driving to the beach or catching up on her reading!

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25 Awesome Story Ideas for Creative Writing for GCSE English Language (2023)

June 23, 2013

25 Awesome Story Ideas for Creative Writing for GCSE English Language

The stories are all based on pictures, with monsters, a chase, a king or characters.

Any of these stories can be written first person or third. Try to make sure you're showing the story, not just telling it. Find out how here.


[1] Old man loses his last picture of himself with his long dead wife. This could link to 'Long Distance' by Tony Harrison. Trying to find it, he goes through her things. This is one for flashback. He discovers secrets, or that she has left him a series of letters/notes for after her death. Start this when he realises he's lost the picture.

[2] Reclusive Grandmother dies. Links to 'Grandmother' by Elizabeth Jennings. Thegranddaughter - who is feeling guilty for not visiting her - has to go through her things and finds her grandmother is not all she seems (she finds £100,000 in cash, or pictures of another, second family she abandoned, or photos of grandmother with Hitler, etc). Start this when the granddaughter opens the front door. She can't get the key to work at first...

[3] A woman's (or man's) jealousy of her (or his) best friend takes over their life . Could link to 'Othello' or 'Medusa'. Think about why. Start this when the woman is with her friend in a frenzy of jealousy...

[4] A model who has always been obsessed with her looks has acid splashed in her face and is disfigured. Could link to 'Les Grands Seigneurs', or 'Mirror' by Sylvia Plath. Start this with her looking in the mirror then opening her front door... By the way, this story is true. The woman in the picture is called Katie Piper . See Also Top 20 Best Rappers In The World (2022) – Information B2B Healthcare Marketing Trends and Challenges | OroCommerce FACT SHEET: The U.S. Department of Education Announces Partnerships Across States, School Districts, and Colleges of Education to Meet Secretary Cardona's Call to Action to Address the Teacher Shortage What Is a Keynote Speaker and How to Find the Best One

[5] Fear of heights : nine year old with family who are in visiting a famous tall tower for the first time. The rest of her family want to go up the tower, but if the child won't go up, someone will have to stay behind with them. Start this at the foot of the tower...

Want more ideas? Get a complete set plus a teaching scheme with model essays and all resources on my TES Resources shop here .

25 Awesome Story Ideas for Creative Writing for GCSE English Language (6)

[6] Small child really wants cake but has been forbidden from taking it down from the shelf. Start this story with the child lusting after the cake, which you should describe - baking, decorating etc - in delicious detail. [ read a short, very funny version of this here ]

[7] A man is obsessed with a womanwho does not love him back (or the other way round) . Could link to 'Havisham' by Carol Ann Duffy, 'Give' or 'Alaska' by Simon Armitage or 'The River God' by Stevie Smith . Start this when he realises she doesn't love him back or when he decides to do something about it - get a haircut, stop eating raw onions, go to the gym, pretend that he also loves 'horoscopes' and 'shopping'...

[8] Dangerous Ambition (links to Macbeth).Want the lead role in the school play (or to be head girl/boy)? What will you do to get it? Start this when you realise the lead is up for grabs but you're not the first choice.

Racing Car driver (motorcross, road or drag racer) is up against his old teammate, now his main rival. Driver needs to win this one or it's the end of his career. He sees that one of the mechanics on his rival's car has fixed something up wrong. What does he do?

[9] Jealous woman (or man) chases husband (wife) to find out where they're going. Could link to 'Medusa', 'Havisham', or 'Othello'.Start this story when they decide to chase / follow. Use flashback, or recollection to explain why.

25 Awesome Story Ideas for Creative Writing for GCSE English Language (13)

[10] Small child really wants to go to another child's birthday party but there's a problem. He has to go to his dad's that weekend/hasn't been invited/has to go to the dentist instead. How does he deal with or solve it? Start this story at the moment where the child realises he can't go. [ read a short, hilarious one here ] III Lost

[11] An old man, who has never cooked or cleaned for himself, has just got home after his wife died (of old age, in hospital). You could link this to 'Old Age Gets Up' by Ted Hughes. Now he has to try to do housework - cook, etc. Could be comic / tragic.

[12] You go for a forest walk (e.g. on a Geography trip or DofE) with someone you don't like much from school and get lost. Could link to Robert Frost's poem 'The Road Not Taken', 'Storm in the Black Forest' by D.H. Lawrence or 'Wind' by Ted Hughes. Start this story just before the main character begins to suspect they are lost. Start funny, ends up scary as it starts to go dark. Get describing words for a forest story here .

[14] World famous BMXer (or other sports person, footballer, skateboarder, surfer) is in a car crash - or other accident - and loses his leg. Will he ever ride again? This can link to 'Out, Out-' by Robert Frost. For more on the guy in the photosee this video .Start this story when he wakes up in a hospital bed.

[15] A bsent father returns trying to spend time with his kids. How do they react to seeing him after so long? [this idea is done beautifully in the story, 'Compass and Torch' in the AQA anthology Sunlight on the Grass]. You could also link this to 'Follower' by Seamus Heaney. Start this when the re's a knock at the front door.

[16] You win a million pounds on the lottery. Everyone you know wants some. What would you buy? Friendships are ruined. Then you are robbed... Start this when you check your bank balance and there are sooooo many noughts at the end it looks like a bank malfunction. IV Coming of Age

25 Awesome Story Ideas for Creative Writing for GCSE English Language (20)

[17] Death of a pet. Ferociously funny, very short story about a girl and a fish [ here ]. Start this when you find the pet... dead, or just before. You can use flashback - when you first got the pet, etc.

[18] Learning a secret you wish you'd never found out - e.g. finding texts on your dad's mobile from his girlfriend while your parents are still married - or learning that your mum is planning to secretly leave your dad. Start this when you're just idly messing with the parent's phone or laptop. See Also How to install Google Play Store on Windows 11 - Pureinfotech A Summary and Analysis of ‘Aladdin and the Magic Lamp’ 400 Best Sad Depressed Names And Usernames That You Will Like How to Watch Sky TV Go on FireStick [App & Kodi Addon]

[19] falling in love for the first time ,as in Romeo and Juliet. Start this when they see each other or their first proper meeting. Link this to 'Sonnet 18 Shall I Compare Thee', 'Sonnet 116 Let Me Not', 'Quickdraw' or 'Hour', by Carol Ann Duffy or 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell.

[20] The first time you have to do a really disgusting piece of housework / cook a meal for yourself and how you tackle it. Start this when you realise that no one else is going to do this foul job except you. Read a description of cooking a meal here .

V The Chase / Monsters

[21] You're camping with your friend in the woods. Then you hear a noise outside (wolves, person, etc). Start this as you're getting settled to go to sleep - then you hear snuffling (or whatever). Read Bill Bryson's hilarious account of this exact event, and also an account of surviving a bear attack from the OCR exam paper here.

[22] You have something someone else wants - gold, diamonds etc. They chase you to get it. You choose the landscape: city, ruined derelict warehouses, Brazil, forest, cliffs etc. Start this at the moment you realise someone is following you. You can link this to the final chapter of Lord of the Flies .

[23] You are the last surviving human after the zombie/vampire apocalypse. Now they have found you. This is the plot of 'I Am Legend'. You can link this to Edwin Muir's post-apocalyptic poem 'Horses', 'Wind' by Ted Hughes or the final chapter of Lord of the Flies . Start this at the moment you (or the main character) realises someone is coming towards your hiding place.

[24] The King is a tyrant who has killed your family. Now you will take revenge . Start this story as you are just about to go through the city walls.

[25] You wake up and discover you have been turned into a giant insect. How does your family react? This is the plot of Kafka's Metamorphosis. Read this here . Start at the point you wake up, and gradually realise what has happened.

Labels: Creative Writing English Language Exam GCSE IGCSE Writing See Also 10 Instagram Story Viewers to Watch Instagram Stories Anonymously The Apple Product Strategy | Cleverism The Effects of Internet-Based Storytelling Programs (Amazing Adventure Against Stigma) in Reducing Mental Illness Stigma With Mediation by Interactivity and Stigma Content: Randomized Controlled Trial 50 Powerful and Inspirational Quotes for Students

How to write a good story for English language GCSE? ›

For the AQA creative writing section in particular, you will be asked to write either a description based on an image, or a short story.

What Makes a Good Short Story? The four elements necessary for your story structure are character, plot, setting, and tension . Balancing these elements is the first step to making your creative writing amazing.

Following are the 5 C's of storytelling that help improve a story. A good story has a sequence that usually happens in five parts that are called the 5 C's of storytelling: Circumstance, Curiosity, Characters, Conversations, and Conflicts .

Here are examples of creative writing: Novels . Short stories . Poetry . Plays .

What makes a good story GCSE? ›

Some of the vital ingredients needed to create a story are plot, character, setting and dialogue . Beyond those, a writer should check that the story makes sense and keeps the reader engaged.

There he offers there are seven basic plots, hence the name, Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, The Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth .

In sum, the three keys for successful storytelling are - the conflict, the characters and the climax .

Show, don't tell is a writing technique in which story and characters are related through sensory details and actions rather than exposition . It fosters a more immersive writing style for the reader, allowing them to “be in the room” with the characters.

While there are many different short story styles, here we will consider three popular short story types: lyrical, flash fiction, and vignette .

As Patrick said, before his team takes on a project, they make sure they have a firm understanding of what they call the Four P's: People, Place, Plot, and Purpose . 1. People: Who is in the story? Characters are what make us emotionally invested in a story.

What are the 4 types of storytelling? ›

You can get compelling plot ideas by reading the news or historical texts or watching documentaries . You can also use an existing nonfiction book to inspire a fictional novel, short story, or script. Thinking more broadly, you can source inspiration from a podcast, a poem, or even a self-help book.

What to add to a story to make it interesting? ›

You can use endlessly different story structures and styles, but each story or novel is going to boil down to three fundamental elements: character, setting, and plot .

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Padma Lakshmi Is Leaving ‘Top Chef’ After Its 20th Season

The host said she wanted to concentrate on her new show, “Taste the Nation,” her writing and “other creative pursuits.”

Padma Lakshmi, in a white blouse and dark pants, stands in front of a counter that says “Top Chef,” where several people are seated and an array of condiments are displayed.

By Maya Salam

Padma Lakshmi announced on Friday that she was leaving the Bravo reality-competition juggernaut “Top Chef,” which she has hosted for 19 of the show’s 20 seasons, calling it a “difficult decision” made “after much soul-searching.”

“I am extremely proud to have been part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food,” Lakshmi, who also serves as an executive producer on the show, said in a statement posted on her social media accounts.

“Many of the cast and crew are like family to me, and I will miss working alongside them dearly,” she continued. “I feel it’s time to move on and need to make space for ‘Taste the Nation,’ my books and other creative pursuits. I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support.”

Lakshmi did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. In an interview with The New York Times earlier this year, she discussed why she had decided to go on the show in the early days of reality television. “I liked how serious they were about the food,” she said. “It wasn’t about the cat fights and lowest common denominator.”

At the time, she said, she figured that if nothing else, “ Top Chef ” would at least expose her to an audience of potential book buyers who did not yet know her work. “We had no evidence that this would be a huge pop culture phenomenon,” she said.

Since 2006, the original “Top Chef” — there have been numerous international adaptations and spinoffs since — has traveled across the United States, filming seasons in Boston, New Orleans, Kentucky and Colorado, among other places. Each season brings together up-and-coming chefs who compete against one another in the hopes of winning cash prizes (and acclaim in the food world) and avoiding elimination — and the dreaded order to “please pack your knives and go. ”

Next week, Bravo will air the finale of Season 20 of “Top Chef.” The season, titled “World All-Stars,” has been based in London, and brought together winners, finalists and memorable competitors from “Top Chef” adaptations from around the world.

In a statement to The Times, the food writer Gail Simmons, Lakshmi’s co-star and fellow judge on “Top Chef” (along with the restaurateur Tom Colicchio), said she is “so grateful for all the knowledge she shared and for the friendship that saw us through countless milestones both on and off camera.”

“I could not have asked for a better host and partner in the job,” Simmons went on. “I’ll always admire her work ethic and how she paved the way for so many women and people of color across the many industries she touches. She is an important person not just in my career, but in my personal life, and will remain so. There’s no denying her impact on our show and she will be missed in our future ‘Top Chef’ adventures.”

Colicchio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Officials at NBCUniversal and Magical Elves, the production company for “Top Chef,” praised and thanked Lakshmi in statements which suggested that they planned to continue the program. “We will miss her on set at the judges’ table and as an executive producer, but we will remain forever grateful for her unwavering dedication to connecting with our cheftestants and Bravo’s viewers alike,” Casey Kriley and Jo Sharon, the co-chief executives of Magical Elves, said in a statement.

Lakshmi, 52, an Indian-born model, author and activist, has been praised for imbuing the reality show with grace and humor, becoming the undeniable face of the franchise.

Last month, Lakshmi’s other television show, “Taste the Nation,” aired its second season, on Hulu. On it, she travels the United States , exploring what it means to cook and eat in America.

Also last month, she was featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue , posing in a gold-coin bikini. “This is me,” she wrote alongside a video of the photo shoot that she’d posted on Instagram . “I wouldn’t go back to my 20s if you paid me all the money in the world.”

Her first cookbook, “Easy Exotic,” was published in 1999. Since then, she has released several other books, including “Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet”; a memoir, “Love, Loss and What We Ate”; a reference guide called “The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs”; and a children’s book, “Tomatoes for Neela.”

Brett Anderson contributed reporting.

Maya Salam is a senior staff editor on the Culture desk at The New York Times. She's a pop culture and television buff. Previously, she was a gender reporter and a breaking news reporter at The Times.


  1. GCSE Creative Writing

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    KS3 Writing skills - creative and narrative writing Part of English Writing skills Imaginative or creative writing absorbs readers in an entertaining way. To succeed with this kind of...

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    With this structure it is important to bear in mind that for the GCSE reading and creative writing exam, children will be expected to spend about 50 minutes on the creative writing section, so it's vital to get them into the habit of planning their writing first; as with anything, practice makes perfect

  4. PDF Scheme of work: Unit 3 English

    series of ideas for developing students' writing skills. The resources and activities could provide a series of short writing sessions or be linked into a longer teaching sequence. Pages 118-136 in Edexcel GCSE English and English Language Core student book 4 Creative Writing Controlled Assessment Marks awarded for this component of the course

  5. Insider GCSE Creative Writing Tips + 106 Prompts From Past Papers

    What is the GCSE writing element of the GCSE Language Paper? There are 5 key GCSE exam boards: AQA, OCR, Pearson Edexcel, WJEC Eduqas and CCEA. Each board sets their own papers which may appear much the same at first glance (bizarrely they all have a similar front cover layout and fonts).

  6. Creative and descriptive writing

    Creative and descriptive writing Resources for KS3, KS4 and upper secondary Let your students' creativity run wild with our selection of worksheets, lessons, exam questions and revision activities, designed to embed language techniques and improve crafted writing. Lessons and activities

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    GCSE Creative Writing: Structuring Your Work Lesson Pack Middle Leaders Subject Leaders EYFS Leaders Leadership Strategies and Skills Staff Wellbeing Staff Development and Personnel Employment and Recruitment Career Progression ECTs Developing People and CPD Performance Management Updating Your Staff Support Staff

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    From only £4.99 This book is ideal for helping students improve their creative story writing for the GCSE English Language exams. Each chapter contains an exam task and a planning checklist designed to help students do regular timed writing practice.

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