Oh yes! Much as I love CBeebies (especially the repeats of Come Outside with Nurse Gladys Emanumabel) I do miss some of the old stuff I used to watch with Sally years ago, and none more than the excellent Story Makers. Ok, so Jelly and Jackson could be a bit annoying, but the library setting, the magical story maker him or herself (my own favourite used to be Milton Wordsworth) and the story machine - plus of course, story (Blue Cow if I was lucky) - was a potent combination. 'Imagine, imagine, imagine a story' went the chant. And if you imagined hard enough, one would appear.
And that's pretty much how it works when you think about it. If you imagine something hard enough, it will appear (on the page). Ok, the words, the idiom, the rising action, narrative progression and the stylistic conventions are all important. Of course they are. But if you can hold something in your imagination clearly enough, for long enough, you tend to find the right words - in the right order - suddenly appear.
It's probably not escaped your notice that it's World Book Day this week. Well, to mark the occasion we (that's Dotterel Press) are organising a children's writing competition. There'll be more on the Dotterel Press blog on World Book Day itself (Thursday). But for now, get the grey matter working, kids. And imagine, imagine, imagine a story!