What’s in a name? Is creative writing all about writing fantasy stories that take root from one’s imagination or thematic stories crafted with a strong logical structure? Surprisingly, both kinds of writing would constitute creative writing. In fact, creative writing is not just restricted to stories. Instead, it encompasses all kinds of writing genres, be it poetry, play scripts and even song lyrics. Since creative writing has such a wide connotation, primary school children should adopt strong writing skills in connection with Creative Writing. Let us go through some of the proven methods in this direction.
1. Sources of inspiration for creative writing
Inspiration is the first step in creative writing. Everyday events are the simplest sources of inspiration. Let everyday places, people and conversations become stimulants for ideas, settings, characters and story plots. Even newspaper headlines, song lyrics and fascinating facts can spark story ideas. For example, a scientific fact like ‘Octopuses have 3 hearts’ may probably inspire fabricating an indecisive octopus’ character because it is unable to follow its 3 hearts!
Readers turn into writers – this is the hard truth. Reading lays the foundation for creativity that feeds writing since it opens up a child’s mind to a host of new ideas. Primary school students, who are avid readers, draw inspiration from their reading content, be it poetry, fiction or non-fiction. Favourite lines, personification, story starters, characters with strengths and flaws- all these can spur a child to mash up a story or poem and come up with their own spin-offs and sequels.
Today’s digital world has put video-based learning into the spotlight. In fact, short video clips complement reading to teach creative writing skills to primary school children. Video clips are chosen wisely to maximise learning outcomes. For instance, when video clips of characters from popular cartoon shows display Show-Not-Tell emotions like fear, children transform the visual images into written words.
Likewise, children can dissect the scenes of a video clip to learn how to pace their stories carefully. How effective can it be if children begin a story, and then quickly jump into the conflict, solve the conflict quickly and wrap up the story? This will certainly take all the excitement away! The key is to gradually build up the conflict by describing the setting and characters, make the conflict worse before proceeding to resolve it. Moreover, writing from different perspectives can also be effectively practised with video-based learning.
At Write Edge’s primary creative writing class, teachers guide the students to pace their stories carefully. Due to a personalised class setting, each student is shown how to add in more details to each of their story segments to create an impactful story eventually.
Read more about our creative writing classes here.
2. Emulation helps in stimulation – learning from other writers!
Famous writers have their own writing styles. For example, J.K. Rowling has a penchant for evoking magic in all her characters. Roald Dahl, with his keen sense of humour, brings his characters alive with strong descriptions so that readers can connect with them emotionally. The list does not stop with just fiction. Autobiographies like ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ throw light on moral values like courage and perseverance in the face of crisis. The impact of prominent authors on primary school children is tremendous. Before the children can develop their own styles, they generally emulate their favourite authors unconsciously to stimulate their creative writing skills. Die-hard fans of J.K.Rowling will create impressive magic spells and fantasy creatures with bizarre names in their stories. Similarly, admirers of Roald Dahl pepper their stories with high-powered descriptions.
Closer home, there must be opportunities for primary school children to have face-to-face conversations with everyday writers like a magazine or newspaper writer, poet or a regular blogger, and interview them on the nitty-gritty of creative writing. Such an exercise will have a profound influence in improving the writing skills of budding writers.
3. Writing plan makes all the difference
Ultimately, a lucid writing plan is the only difference between good and bad writers. An outline of a story on a template as a form of reference when actually writing the story ensures a progression of a seamless story. Once the children structure the story, it is easier to visualise the scenes and freeze them in their heads. At Write Edge’s primary creative writing classes, a plot plan includes events that will occur in the story along with checklists like 5-senses description, strong vocabulary, character descriptions and their emotions, and mature reflections to remind the children about their inclusion in their stories. Last but not the least, writing contests, as held in Write Edge, is another outlet for children to embrace different writing genres zealously.
One must remember that creative writing is not a stuff of dreams….it is real and is here to stay!
If you wish to find out more about the Creative Writing programmes at Write Edge, parents can reach out to us to arrange a trial class to find out more.