Writing Tips for Creative Kids
By Charles Hopkins
Published 10/23/2007 | Kids & Teens
So you want to write a story! Congratulations, this is an exciting and
fun venture that both you and your readers will enjoy.
Don't think that being a kid is going to stop you from creating
just like the adults do. In fact, kids are better at using their
imagination, and not letting critical thinking get in the way, so you
do have some benefits that will help you churn out a great story.
The most important tip to remember is not to tell everything. The
best way to get your readers' imaginations working is to only tell the
most important details, and let them fill in the rest.
With that in mind, here are some simple steps you can follow to get
your story from your head onto the paper, and then into the hands of
Step 1: Idea
Before you start writing, you should have an idea that you will be
writing about. It might be something that happened in real life, to
you, or your friends, or your pets. Or you might imagine what your pets
would say if they could talk, and write a story around that. Think
about what kinds of adventures they would get into.
Your favorite stories or comics could also inspire you. Never copy
what someone else has created, but you can let it give you ideas that
you will take into a whole new direction.
You could also take several ideas from different places, and
combine them into one new situation. What if your pets were magical,
like Harry Potter? Now take that idea and start to expand on it.
Step 2: Story Basics
Now that you have an idea, it's time to write down the basics of
what you will be telling. Who is the main character and what is his or
her name? What does he or she like to do? Who are that person's
friends, and what do they do together?
A good story features a main character with a problem to solve, and
another character to help them solve it. So who will the other
character be, and what will be the challenge that they overcome
Usually a problem either focuses on a person against another
person, a person against nature, or a person against himself or
Step 3: Story Details
Now that you have the basics down, create some more details around
it. How old is your main character, and how did they happen to have
this problem? Can they solve it on their own, even if they don't know
it yet? Is there something they need to overcome, like a fear or doubt,
before they realize that they could have solved this problem all along?
How is the secondary character going to help them? What do they know that the main character doesn't?
Most stories also have a villain who will try to stop the main
character from achieving their goal. Who is this villain, and why do
they want to prevent the hero from doing something?
A lot of stories also feature a teacher or mentor who is older or
wiser than the friends, and will help them discover the solution to the
problem that they are seeking. Who is this authority figure, what do
they know, and how will they help out?
Step 4: Plot
Now that you know what's going to happen, you will want to make
sure it happens at the right time and in the right place. This sequence
of events is called a plot.
Focus on cause and effect: what happens, and then what happens as a
result of that? What decisions do the characters make that take them
forward into another situation?
What kinds of adventures will they have while struggling with the
problem? Who comes in to reveal important information to the heroes?
When does the villain create roadblocks to letting them find solutions?
How do they get around that, and what adventures do they now have while
reaching their goals?
In the end, what kind of punishment will the villain get when the heroes get their reward?
Now that you know the flow of your story, and the details of what happens when, it's time to actually write it.
When telling the story, don't just do it in your own words. Let the
characters talk too. Lots of dialogue and descriptions will keep the
story moving and get your reader involved in the conversation.
During this step you should not worry about spelling or grammar
mistakes, or what you should have written instead. Now your job is
simply to write from the heart, and just let the words flow out onto
your paper or computer screen.
Now that you have written your masterpiece, you have the chance to go back and revise it, or fix up any mistakes you might have.
Look for things like the characters all talking the same way.
Perhaps it would be more interesting if each character had their own
special words and phrases that only they use, so the reader knows
immediately who is speaking and gets to know them as individual people.
Also make sure you have enough dialogue, as well as enough
descriptions of the scenery and action, without telling too much.
Remember, the reader likes to use their imagination too.
So follow these simple steps to write story after story, the easy way, without ever having to worry about what to write or how.