Hi! I’ve been wanting to do a post on creative writing tips for children but it took longer than expected to write down my ideas.
A while back, I was asked by a friend of the family for some creative writing tips for their kids. It took me by surprise that someone would ask me for advice (I regularly forget that I’m an author) and I was totally unprepared for the question. Hopefully, they find this post and both they and other parents find useful information in it.
If you haven’t read the May newsletter, check it out here! https://www.victoriamayburybooks.ca/2020/05/17/may-2020-newsletter-how-i-have-been/ Happy reading!
Creative Writing Tips for Kids
First, decide what type of story you want to write. You can either write a short story or just a regular story. At this point, you aren’t worried about what it is going to be about. You just need to decide whether you are writing a story or a short story. It is always good to start with something small like a short story because you can always make it longer. I’ll talk about them a little more below.
Short Story structure is easiest remembered in seven steps. Fun fact; short stories can only go up to 10 000 words or else it is called a story or novel.
- A Character (create your main character! What do they look/act like? Have fun with it).
- Who is in a situation (create a situation). (Are they in a field, a house or somewhere else?)
- With a problem. (What is the problem? Can’t find their flashlight in the dark house? Need to save the city from a bad guy? Imagination is key!)
- They try to solve the problem. (Light a candle to find their flashlight)
- But fail, making it worse (Set a table cloth on fire but put it out)
- They make a final attempt which may succeed or fail (Groping in the dark for their flashlight)
- The outcome is not as expected (Parents turn the lights on)
Story structure is a little different than just a short story. Stories or novels are a bit more complicated than short stories but the amount of steps varies little.
- The Hook. (Something that makes the reader interested in the story. An explosion or something is a good way to start)
- The Inciting Incident. (What makes the main character start their journey? Does their sister need medicine and they are the only on who can get it?)
- The Key Event. (The main character decides to act. Starts journey to find medicine.)
- The Midpoint. (The story twists in an unexpected way. Someone betrays the main character and takes them the wrong way to find the medicine even though the sister has less than a week to live.)
- The Crossroads. (The main character must decide whether to give up their quest or continue. Deciding whether they will continue to look for medicine.)
- The Dark Moment. (The moment when all hope is lost, the night is always darkest before the dawn. Main character can’t find medicine and are captured by people who betrayed them.)
- The Climax. (The main character finally completes their main goal. Escapes, finds the medicine and gives it to their sister.)
- The Resolution. (End of hook, you wrap up the story. The main character and their sister live happily ever after.)
Secondly, a good way to start the actual creative writing is with a prompt. I use a lot of prompts because they always spark my creativity just a little bit more. If you don’t want to create your own prompts, here are five interesting ones that might get your creative juices flowing.
- Write a conversation between two cats.
- What would you say if you met your favorite book character in real life?
- You are trapped in a zoo, what do you do?
- What would you ask a talking dolphin?
- What would it feel like to climb a mountain?
Lastly, you’ll want to create the world (it doesn’t have to be an entire world) that your story is in. It could be as small as the room the conversation happens in or it could be an entire universe. A few places to get ideas for character or world creation are below.
I hope this post was useful or at least interesting to you. If you do use the prompts or any of the advice, I’d love to read it. You can always take a picture of it and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or message me at any of the following social media platforms. Have a wonderful day and until next time!
Victoria R. Maybury
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