Guest post by Fiona Ingram
Getting kids enthusiastic about reading and even doing their own creative writing may seem like a monumental task when you see all the techno-competition around—video games, movies, computer games etc. They focus on the electronic stuff which, like an electronic babysitter, is doing all the thinking for them.
Children need to be challenged mentally and imaginatively to grow, to create their own dreams and ambitions, and to experience the wonders that their imaginations can potentially hold. One can use all sort of elements to get kids as enthusiastic about writing as they are about all their other gadgets.
• Most of the time, children are either bored or switched off by the reading choices at school. They then perceive books as boring and creative writing a chore. Perhaps the creative writing exercises at school are not on topics that pique their interest.
• Kids are riveted by what interests them, so find out what captures your child’s imagination and direct their attention toward the books on that subject/s. Ask for their ideas on what they have read. Do they have better ideas? Could they create something?
• The idea of writing pages and pages and pages of just words (‘all those words!) is also very daunting, so challenge your child to a creative writing project, which implies more than just words on a page.
• Kids love computers so turn the idea of creative writing around—let them create their own illustrated story, become an author. What could be more empowering! This will allow them ‘ownership’ of the story, and that’s an irresistible challenge for any child. The subject can be about them, an incident, or a fictitious character.
• You can help your child develop the story, getting them to write it out first by hand, and then going through it several times (maybe another family member can also give their input). They can then create the project on the computer.
• They’ll not just create it but illustrate it (either their own drawings or using images available from the Internet), design it and print it out. You’ll be amazed at what happens once the child takes charge of their own project.
• When it’s finished, suggest the child hand it in to their grade teacher for inclusion in the school magazine or newspaper. Or perhaps it’s a gift for a grandparent or family member. You could even have it properly bound at your local stationers.
• Other family events or excursions can be a great way to keep the creativity going. Are you taking a trip somewhere? Suggest your child keep a journal. Not for boring words on a page, of course, but to make notes for building into yet another fantastic creative project! Perhaps a beloved elderly relative is unable to accompany the family on a trip away. Not a problem. Your child can oversee and manage the creation of a fun holiday remembrance album. Creativity and writing will become enjoyable activities soon enough.
About the Author
Fiona Ingram is a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, she was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked her new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with her mother and two young nephews. They had a great time and she thought she’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, she had changed careers. She has now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in her middle grade adventure series Chronicles of the Stone. The series has many awards for the first book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3!
Whether you need help with ghostwriting, rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700.
Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable and marketable story today!
Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.