Stage Story shares with us their top 5 Creative Writing Tips for your child, and how to get them crafting a winning story!
- Encourage your child to consider plot (what happens in the story) and description in equal measure – creating a balanced and well rounded story. To illustrate this, take a past story of say 3-4 paragraphs and colour code the descriptive sentences. Then, colour the *‘plot’ sentences with a contrasting colour. If the story is balanced you’re aiming to see a relatively equal disruption of the two colours. By using colours it helps your child fully visualise what a balanced story looks like. And if the distribution of colour isn’t balanced – too much plot, for instance – the visual cue will help them understand that more ‘descriptive colour’ is needed. *An example may be: The pirate could see the island ahead. This sentence is moving the story along and is considered part of the plot.
- If your child is asked to write a timed story, help them to condense their ideas into chunked paragraphs. Remind them they’re not writing a book, and as such, characters and complex events should be kept to a minimum. If they find this difficult, remind them that description offers the opportunity to expand on any idea, and as such, they can craft an interesting tale from limited ingredients.
- Encourage your child to place emphasis on a character’s physical appearance and behaviour. Often, children resort to describing the physical (a skill developed at a young age) thus neglecting the character’s behaviour. It’s important to note that the character’s behaviour provides your child with more scope to develop their character in various situations and as such, prevents premature writer’s block and the story’s collapse.
- When reading with your child, point out the way punctuation is used in a functional way, for example, a full stop ending a sentence, compared to a stylistic way, an exclamation mark displaying surprise. By engaging them with the stylistic part punctuation plays in writing it helps your child to associate punctuation with emotion and excitement – making them less likely to neglect it in a piece of writing.
- Figurative language can be a complex concept to introduce to young children, so try to use the analogy of a ‘writer’s tool box’ to help children get to grips with devices such as a simile, metaphor, personification and onomatopoeia. So, as a writer, what tool would they use to compare an object to something else? A simile. What might they use to give human features to an object? Personification. Different tools do different jobs, much like a hammer compared to a screwdriver!
If you want to encourage and support your child’s creative writing skills, StageStory is inspiring children to tell better tales. By using theatre and actors to impart essential writing skills whilst giving students the opportunity to witness their work being brought to life by professional actors on stage.
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