How to become a time traveller when you write, with these storytelling tips

Published on: 09 November 2018 Author: Nicola Davies

Author Nicola Davies is having a lovely day out at the National Museum of Wales and she wants YOU to come along, too. After all, she’s fairly sure that you're going to find lots of information, ideas and inspiration for your writing.

Learn more about Nicola Davies

I’ve been travelling in time, with the help of the Natural History Collection of the National Museum of Wales. I started out in the present day with basking sharks and cassowaries that you can find on earth today – then I travelled back in time, taking in some of the highlights of the history of life on earth, like mammoths, ancient sea creatures, dinosaurs and giant cockroaches!

Have a watch for brilliant creatures and facts

Did you know that…

  • Dracoraptors – small, meat-eating dinosaurs from 200 million years ago – have feathers because they are part of the dinosaur group that evolved into the birds we see today
  • Coal – a fuel we use for energy – is made from fossils (the remains of plants or animals after they die) from ancient areas such as forests – so, when you switch on the light, the power could come from a giant dragonfly, with wings a foot wide, that lived 350 million years ago
  • Basking sharks, despite being 12 metres long and weighing 3 tonnes, eat mainly plankton (tiny bits of sea food), so they have to filter through 2,000 tonnes of water an hour to get to the good stuff!

Time to get writing

You can time travel with your writing, too.

First, do your research: use a library or a museum to help you find out about some part of the long history of life on Earth, and then mix the information you’ve found with a bit of imagination and get writing...

You could even try fitting the whole of evolution from the start of life to the present day into one poem or short story. Now, there’s a writing challenge!

More about Nicola Davies: our former Writer in Residence

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