General Writing and Grammar Help/English-story


Hi,I am doing a story in 9th grade English. It should be a 3-4 page, double-spaced, 12 font narrative essay. My teacher is looking for an interesting story about a journey that includes a lot of vivid imagery, sentence variety, and a protagonist who can be considered a hero based on their actions during the journey. My story is about a student(early teens) who needs to get to school on time for a major test, but unfortunately has a substitute bus driver(foreign)who gets lost. The main character doesn't have a lot of confidence and doesn't usually talk to other kids on the bus. So I was thinking this person could become a hero by being the person who gets everyone to school successfully. I was thinking something like:
this person doesn't have phone and after they figure out the only to get to school is by using a GPS, they have to work up the nerves to ask, let's say one of the"mean" girls for one of their phones? I really want the characters to play a role in showcasing the main character's heroism/ improvement in communicating with the other characters in order to get to school(the "mean" girls, the two other kids who want to get to school, the foreign bus driver).How the shy main character deals with other characters, especially the unfriendly ones, and uses wits to get someone to lend their phone  But I just can't think of what plot structure that would follow what I've got written so far. Again, I need good imagery and similes. I need help ASAP. *note: the character needs to show some heroism and eventually arrive at school.* Please and thank you!  

"Sitting at the back of the bus, I start to panic. What do I do? Who am I kidding, thereís nothing I can do. The only thing I can do right now is wait and hope for the best. But at the same time, I canít help but think that this is very bad. We are already ten minutes late and nowhere close to school. Iím pretty sure the new bus driver has no idea where he is going. The exam will be starting any minute now. I tell myself itís okay. Itís fine, my teacher will just have to understand and let me take the exam late. I look down at my hands; theyíre clammy. Drenched. This is the Regents, not just any state test. If I miss this, Iíll have to wait for months before I can have another chance to take it. Everything Iíve been working and practicing for will go to waste because thereís no way Iíll be able to remember all this for seven more months. Iím a mediocre student, at best. Iíll just have to wait. The substitute bus driver has directions and he can always contact people for directions. Yeah, itíll be okay. Iíll just wait.      
I lean back against my seat and look out the window. I have no idea where we are. I hear two kids complaining about how lost we must be. I slide across my seat to see what other people were doing. Besides those two kids, no one else seems to care that first period must be halfway over by now. Most of them sat there texting. Two girls are chirping over how great it would be if weíre stuck on the bus and didnít have to go to school at all. I stare at them in disbelief. One of the girls notice and sends me a dirty look. Her friend notices me now and does the same. I sink back into my seat. I feel my cheeks burning like theyíre on fire. The second girl was from my history class. We didnít talk much, but I didnít know she had anything against me. I tell myself to stop worrying about things I have no control over and stare at my hands again. I turn them over see my palms sparkling with sweat. I wipe them against my jeans, which only makes them hotter. Frustrated with everything, I just sit there motionless. This way, I canít make anything worse.
Feeling the bus take a left turn, I look out the window again, hoping that weíre closer to school. Nope, Iíve never seen this street before. I need to keep myself busy with something so I donít start to panic again. I try to reassure myself; the Regents havenít started yet, the bus driver is just taking a different route. Thereís nothing to worry about; Iíll make to school in time. This all flies out the window when the bus driver calls for our attention. In the most innocent voice, he asks, ďDoes anybody know how to go to school?Ē
I feel my heart drop. This must be some kind of a joke, it seems completely unreal. I guess everyone else feels just as bewildered as I do because the bus becomes silent. Dead silent."

What's next???
Please help.

Hi Ladam,

Sorry about the long delay.

The story has a good start, and your writing technique is pretty good, I only noticed a few grammatical errors, mostly with missing or misplaced commas.

For me, as a reader, the biggest flaw I see with your story is the idea of how the protaganist becomes the hero. Being on a bus full of high school students it seems rather unplausible to me that after 10 minutes of driving the bus would become so completely lost that not one teenager on the bus would know how to get back to school. Most of the kids probably grew up in the area, so for me it creates a believability issue (don't worry about that though; even major best-selling books have those moments for me too).

Since your bus driver is foreign, I would suggest playing on that more. In the US most people are not bilingual. You could make it that the bus driver barely speaks English and that he doesn't know how to tell the students that he's lost and he doesn't understand what they're trying to tell him. The protaganist could become the hero by also being able to speak the language of the bus driver and act as an interpreter for him. This would be a far more believable story to me. He could face some "internal struggle" by working through his introverted personality and being forced to talk to a complete stranger to get the kids back to school safely.

You've got a good start to it and it can be built up into a nice story with just a few minor changes. My advice is keep going.

Kind Regards,

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Johnathan Clayborn


I can answer a broad range of questions about both academic and creative writing. I can answer questions about APA format, research and references, essay structure and more. I am particularly helpful in the areas of character development, storyline development, etc. and I can provide authors with an array of tools to help them organize their work.


I minored in English for my Bachelor's degree. I have also written several books and I run a small publishing company (before you ask, we're not accepting submissions at this time). I have written both fiction and non-fiction books and I have been published in newspapers and written articles for major internet websites.

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