WRITING 10 – Stories 1

The task

Sample article

How to go about it

Antes de empezar a escribir, piensa en los eventos que van a ocurrir en tu historia y en cómo acabará.

  • Tu historia tiene que estar bien contada, por lo que lo lógico y más seguro es contarla en el mismo orden que los sucesos ocurren.
  • Usa conectores y diferentes tiempos verbales para guiar al lector; usa adjetivos y adverbios para añadir viveza a las descripciones; usa el reported speech y expresiones de tiempo para sonar más dramático.

Narrative tenses

Seguramente la historia la cuentes en pasado, así que vamos analizar los tiempos verbales pasados para que sepas contar la historia como un verdadero escritor!

Past simple

Examples: Affirmative

He picked up the paper = El cogió el papel

It caught his attention = Llamó su atención

The machine looked…  = La máquina parecía…

Examples: Negative and interrogative

He didn’t pick up the paper

Did it catch his attention?

The machine didn’t look…

El past simple va a ser el tiempo verbal que más vamos a usar en la story. 

Past continuous


While he was reading the instructions, his girlfriend came in

Mientras él estaba leyendo las instrucciones, su novia entró

While he was pressing the button, a voice shouted…

Mientras estaba apretando el botón, una voz chilló…

El past continuous lo usaremos para describir acciones con cierta duración en el pasado que normalmente se van a ver interrumpidas por una acción puntual, que pondremos en past simple.

Past perfect


He had never seen anything like that before

Él nunca había visto nada así antes

She said that she had used that machine in the past

Ella dijo que ella había usado esa máquina en el pasado

El past perfect lo vamos a usar para describir acciones que ocurren en el pasado antes que otra acción que también ocurre en el pasado.

Used to


He used to go there some time ago

Él solía ir allí hace un tiempo

She used to be happier

Antes era más feliz

Lo usamos para describir situaciones que antes ocurrían y ahora ya no. En castellano a veces lo traducimos como “solía” y otras como “antes + pretérito imperfecto”.


Many years ago I ________ (1) to spend New Year’s Eve with my family. I _________ (2) new year with my parents but I had nowhere to go, and being with my family seemed preferable to being on my own.

When my parents _______ (3) the door I could see they ______ (4) , and that they were genuinely happy to see me. I ______ (5)  addicted to heroin for 10 years, and for them, seeing me was the confirmation that I wasn’t dead in an alley. Unfortunately, I ______ (6) nothing new or exciting to tell them, just the same sad old stories. I ______ (7) from crappy job to crappy job, being invariably sacked, and I ______ (8) to crime whenever I was out of money. Same old, same old.

During dinner, I ______ (9) a few glassfuls of whisky. I ______ (10) something to ease the pain, because for the whole evening my sisters ______ (11) at me with such contempt that it was unbearable. My own sisters ______ (12) me. Then I had a moment of realisation; I ______ (13) that they would never hate me as much as I hated myself.

When we finished dinner I ______ (14) my glass. “I’m going into rehab,” I said. My parents ______ (15) at me with some kind of hope. Parents never lose hope. But my sisters just ______ (16) down with disdain. They ______ (17) perfectly well that I had been in rehab centres many times before, and that this time wouldn’t be different.

But this time it was different. After that day, I ______ (18) that look in my sisters’ eyes every day, every time I ______ (19) to shoot some heroin. 10 years later, on a New Year’s Eve, I thanked my sisters because they ______ (20) my life. They kissed me with their new look in their eyes, the look of love.