Writing is an essential skill to assess learning and portray intelligence. In a workplace and community, writing is important for communication and thinking and social skills. Did you also know creative writing, in particular, engages both sides of the brain - the right side is the ‘creative’ side and the left is the analytical and logical side. Both sides are used for creative writing which is quite impressive. Creative writing is also great for improving mental health as expressing emotions and feelings helps relieve anxiety and depression. Additionally, for children, they can boost their self-confidence and sense of achievement, whilst helping them expand their vocabulary, check their spellings and use a variety of grammar through creative writing. We’ve put together a few tips to guide children with their creative writing, in particular, stories.
1. Start with a plan
Some people can put their ideas down straight away on paper and can write without using any sort of plan. We would recommend writing short bullet points to get all the exciting ideas down and reviewing the best ones to use. Writing a plan shouldn’t take too long, once you are happy and confident with your ideas, you are ready. Start with a theme, characters, setting and plot and the rest should come naturally.
2. Think about your characters
It may be a good idea to start thinking about how many characters you want to be involved in your piece. Think about the main character, any sidekicks or friends, pets, villains and more and give them their personality! You could create their costumes, special objects they may use or abilities that may be important for the story.
Where does your story take place? Will it be in the summer or winter? Would it be in the past, present or future? Creating and describing the setting will help your readers visualise where your story takes place and why this may be important for the theme of your plot! Usually, these are at the beginning of your story and paragraphs if the scene changes halfway through the story.
It is important to have a structure for creative writing. Always start with a beginning, middle and end to help the reader go through a journey with you. Place your readers at the beginning of your adventure and guide us to the end. Don’t forget the fun scenarios and situations that may occur in the middle of the story!
5. Use the 5 Senses
Descriptive writing is essential for your readers to help them have an idea of what is happening and the different moods in your writing. Describe as much as you can what the characters may see, hear, feel, taste and smell to engage your reader into the story. Using the 5 senses helps vary your vocabulary and grammar by using different adjectives, nouns and verbs to make your story exciting.
6. Conflict and Resolution
As you may have noticed, most cartoon and TV programmes have the characters come across a problem that is usually solved by the end of the episode. Sometimes the characters will create a problem and solve them, with a moral at the end. Think about your favourite TV programme and the problem the main character had encountered to help give you some ideas. Creating problems in your story will leave your readers wanting to read more until the solution is found!
You may also have seen a TV Programme that has the characters face a plot twist at the end of an episode this is known as a cliffhanger as it leaves the viewers wondering what will happen next! Suspense is created that leaves the reader wanting to keep watching to see how the character gets out of their difficult situation.
8. Sentence openers
Make sure your sentences have an effective start when introducing new characters, settings, paragraph and time events. Some example sentences can start with “One evening”, “Although”, “However”, “A few hours later”, “In the distance” and “Finally”. Try to keep them as exciting as possible by avoiding using “And” or “But”!
9. Take breaks
If you are writing a story that is a bit long, don’t expect this to be completed in one go! Take small breaks if you have a deadline that is far away. Professional writers have expressed how taking breaks is great to collect their ideas, find new inspiration and to keep them energised. Write small sections or sentences a day by planning how much you want to achieve before the deadline. Make sure you reward yourself once your mini writing goals are met!
Always double check your final story to make sure all spellings are correct and the use of punctuation is used carefully. Create excitement with exclamation maks, use commas for dramatic effect and use speech marks when characters speak. For older students, use a variety of language devices such as irony, metaphors and rhetorical questions. Make sure you make it clear which viewpoint you are writing from (first person or third person) and be careful with your tenses. Read your sentences again to check if they make sense. Proofreading is also a great way to add or remove ideas to make your writing clearer.
ED TREE is excited to announce a new writing competition for students in the UK aged 7 to 16. Find out more about how to enter and our 5 easy steps to get involved! This is a great opportunity to put these tips into practice and to improve writing skills over the winter period with a chance of winning exciting rewards! Visit us at https://www.edtree.co.uk/writing-competition