Creative writing is a skill that helps children express themselves, and it’s certainly one that will come in handy throughout their schooling. With that in mind, it can be a fantastic idea to nurture your child’s love of stories by writing one with them.
Of course, even children who are always devising stories and conjuring up thrilling situations can get a little stuck when they meet an empty page, but you can help them out by following these steps.
Before you write together, you need to be reading together! Pick a few of their favourite stories, then talk after each read-through about how the story was put together. Ask what made each character unique, what they were trying to do, and what parts would have made up the book’s beginning, middle, and end.
Use Favourites as a Foundation
Talking through the way your child’s favourite stories were put together will help them identify the framework of a plot and what makes a character interesting. Before you dive right into stories of your own, try asking your child to think up some tales based around what you just read.
Start Thinking About Original Ideas
Your child should now be confident in coming up with stories that feature their favourite characters, and they should understand how plots come together. It’s now time to start looking for inspiration for their own stories. Ask your child what kind of character they would find interesting, and try taking inspiration from their interests. Is your child really into Star Wars? If so, ask about settings that take place in space!
Children often have trouble putting together a beginning, middle, and end, with stories tending to dwindle out and never reach a conclusion. To help with structuring, create a set of 8 or so storyboard boxes, then ask your child to think about a scene that could fill in each one.
You and your child should now be ready to write. Huzzah! However, you might find your child starts to falter when they actually have to put pen to paper. At first, it can help for them to dictate while you write. As you progress, you can have them write for themselves.