Polishing your child to be a better writer
Writing is a medium of communication and creativity; it is also a means of expressing one’s emotions. Wonder why we are stressing on helping your child be a writer? Because writing is magical, it helps in learning and understanding the environment and people; it helps sharpen one’s senses and is an extremely fun activity. Few people write because they are reluctant to express or speak. Whatever the reason is, we all agree that an empty page is daunting.
Have you heard of these names?
Anne Frank, Thomas Chatterton, Susan Hill, and Marjorie Fleming, all these are writers who started young and even had their books and stories published before reaching the age of 18. Daisy Ashford, another brilliant writer who first wrote her story when she was just 4 years old, yes read that again. These writers were exceptional and are an inspiration to many.
Let’s discuss a few points which will help your child develop a few writing skills polishing him/her to be a better writer.
- Familiarise with the question: Once your child has penned down a story, ask him/her a series of questions that will help understand the plot. The questions should be for the beginning, middle, and end of the story, like “Which era is the story based on?” and “Does it have a message?” etc.
- Help set up the stage: Once your child has a plot, create a stage-like background for the scenes in a scrapbook; how their character speaks, walks etc., this will help them understand the details. Later cut out magazines with pictures of houses or parks etc, where the scene will be set. You can even cut out pictures for costume design. If your child has a better imagination, then let him/her draw it themselves.
- Prompt your child: When your child has written, prompt your children to think more about their story. If your child is too young and unable to give his/her protagonist or any other character history or a personality trait, help them. Example: “Your character is a spy, right? Why don’t we give him a coat and a hat?”
- Encourage them time and again: One of the great qualities that a writer possesses is to take critiques and turn them into compliments and change their story. Sit with your child and encourage them to read out their story and give feedback where they can improve.
- Create picture stories: If your child is too young and cannot write and yet wants to create stories, then go for wordless picture stories. Help them draw a character and set it under different scenes and scenarios. Like “Meg the dog” can one day be a cook and one day can be a pilot.
- Not always creative: If your child wants to be a writer but not a creative writer, then guide them towards where their interest lies. Journaling is the best alternative; authentic projects like newspapers, newsletters, etc.
Before we conclude there are other things that need to be kept in mind, like
- Creating their own creative space where they are free to indulge in their imagination.
- Being a part of their writing process as much as possible.
- Creating a mini library corner with all genres of books.
- Having writing tools available, like grammar software, stationary, etc.
The last thing to remember and make our children and ourselves aware is to disassociate with the thought that writing is hard work, anxiety-driven, a lot of gut-wrenching work, and emotionally exhausting. Yes, writing can be overwhelming sometimes, but writing can bring that excitement and pleasure too; it’s a fun activity for many of the authors.