Creative writing is a great tool for expression and inspiration. It encourages students to find their voice and develop their imagination in an often unique and poetic way. As I am sure you are aware that getting started is often one of the most challenging part of writing. Here are some tips to help your child when writing creatively.
Read Read Read! The more your child reads, the more styles of writing they will be exposed to. Reading also develops our vocabulary and encourages students to become more aware of new words and what they mean within the context of the story. Reading also provides your child with a new source of inspiration and techniques, and it can even support them when writing their own material.
Draw from real-life experiences You can encourage your child to use their own lives as inspiration to create stories. We are more interesting than we think. Writing about what is familiar is often the most effective way to create a compelling story. You can introduce journal or diary writing to your child to get their imagination flowing!
Practice is skill of mastery Practice is needed in order to develop our understanding of a subject and or task. We can only improve by trying and trying again, and the same applies to writing. If you allow your child to dedicate a little time each day to practising their writing, they will develop their creative writing skills and gain confidence. Set a small daily goal to write a paragraph or a poem a day and let their imagination flow!
Here are some Literary Techniques that you can share with your child to help them with creative writing:
Adjectives - describing words that describe a noun. Used to help create a more vivid picture in our minds about the named object.
Adverbs - words used to describe verbs. They help to create a more vivid picture in our minds about how something is being done.
Alliteration - repetition of connected words beginning with the same letter. Used to highlight the feeling of sound and movement, or to intensify feeling or to bind words together.
Connotations - an idea or feeling that a word invokes for a person as well as its literal meaning. Connotations evoke reactions in the reader based on their experience of certain words. For example, words like ghost and death can evoke strong negative connotations.
Pathetic fallacy - where the weather in the story mirrors the emotion of the scene or the people in it. For example, when it is very hot the characters are agitated or when it is foggy, mystery is evoked. This adds atmosphere to the writing and gives clues to the reader as to what is to come, especially if the weather is described before the event.
Personification - the technique of presenting things which are not human as if they were. This can make inanimate things seem as if they are alive and able to do the things that a person can.
Repetition - the action of repeating something. This will either add emphasis to the words being repeated or create a rhythm within the writing.
Onomatopoeia - use of words which echo their meaning in sound. For example, 'whoosh' or 'bang'. This technique can give the reader a real sense of the noise that is happening within the writing.
Simile - a comparison based on a similarity between two things, which suggests one object shares features with another but is not identical. This technique helps to create an image in the mind of the reader so that the reader can identify with how things appear or may be happening. Hint - 'like' or 'as' are key words to spot.
Symbolism - when a word, phrase or image stands for or evokes a complex set of ideas. For example, a red rose can symbolise romantic love. Writers will sometimes use symbols in their writing so that they can suggest things without actually explaining them.