How to begin to write

How does a professional writer start a story, and what does that tell us about helping children write creatively?

In fact, if one talks to a range of published writers, you will soon find that there is no consensus as to how they undertake their craft – except in one regard.

For with each new book or short story or poem, the experienced writer will often find a new style and approach, which then guides the work on its route toward a conclusion.

And it is this ability to find a style or approach, which is often called a “voice,” but which can be much more than that, which has a profound effect on the resultant piece of writing.

Thus, if in writing the piece the child is seeking to portray the world of a cat, the result is going to be very different from a piece in which the child is considering the experience of a pebble that is picked up and put in a child’s pocket, only to be retrieved later and become part of a game.

The point is that it is the choosing of a character or object to put at the heart of a story which determines the “voice” that in turn directs the action.  And it is through this that children much more readily learn to express their thoughts and feelings.

For only when the child begins to consider how another entity will feel and experience the events in the story, is imagination likely to be triggered.  Suddenly the child faces the issue of what it is like to be in this different world, and then creative writing takes off.

Better still, where such techniques are taught along with grammar, phonics, plot, characters etc, then the whole notion of what the written and spoken language can do will immediately be hugely expanded.

This is the fundamental approach of “How to Achieve Outstanding Writers in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1”, a book which includes a range of photographs and supportive PowerPoints (on a USB drive), as well as written ideas, to act as stimuli and points to be explored. 

From this welter of possibilities, children enhance their creative writing ability, develop a love and understanding of fiction, and come to understand and express their own emotions and feelings more readily.

You can read more about “How to Achieve Outstanding Writers”, and see extracts from the book on our website

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