This is a place to explore, with lots of creative writing tips for children and teens and storystarters. There is a Daily Writing Challenge for you and a dare to pay yourself first and put some time in the Creative Bank. Check back regularly as this area of the site expands.
Young Writers’ StorySchool
Young Writers’ StorySchool is my brand new online video writing masterclass for young writers. It’s the culmination of fifteen years running workshops for filmmakers and writers, everything I know about writing rolled into 24 x 3-4-minute videos on different aspects of the writing process. Perfect for use in the classroom, accompanied by comprehensive teachers’ notes (written by a teacher) and activity sheets, as well as for the keen kid writer to use at home. Here’s the trailer…
Other Writing Tips for Children and Teens on Video
Click below to watch Finding Story Inspiration, a writing tip inspired by my new thriller novel for middle-graders The Fall. A perfect way to get inspired for the day, add to your writer’s toolkit and open up discussion about key areas of creating an amazing story. If you have an idea for a future video on creative writing, drop me an email or leave a comment on this post.
|Story Inspiration. How can books and movies inspire and influence your own story, novel or movie script?|
Vision Board Template for Creative Writing
The Vision Board is one of my key writing tools – a place to collect images, video, music, maps to capture the feeling of the story, establish setting and characters. Here is a free download of a basic VisionBoard I have made in Keynote. I hope it’s useful for students, teachers and creatives.
Anything Goes Daily Writing Challenge
When I was in fourth grade our teacher, Mrs Bannister, made us write, every morning, in an ‘Anything Goes’ book. Here is mine:
Our Mission was simply to write – to pour the contents of our minds onto the page.
The Rules were something like:
1. Don’t Think. Just Write.
2. Write for 5-10 minutes, flat out.3. Once you begin, your pen is not allowed to stop moving across the page until the time is up.
|My Life as a Chocolate Bar. Most of my stories were about lollies in fourth grade.|
Every story didn’t have to be amazing (as you can see above). We were allowed to make mistakes. It wasn’t to teach perfect spelling or neat handwriting. We weren’t being marked. It was just about creativity. This is where I learned to write. This is how I discovered my Voice as a writer.
|My notebooks have a hard life.|
I still do ‘Anything Goes’ every morning at 6.00am. I write three pages, flat out. The biggest secret to being a writer is simply to write. I challenge you, whether you are a kid, a teenager or an adult, to spend 5 or 10 minutes each day simply writing. Fill up an exercise book. Fill up ten.
Put some time in the creative bank every day and remember, like Mrs. Bannister said – Anything Goes.
|Some of my notebooks from writing three pages a day over many years.|
Good luck! Leave a comment below and let me know how you’re getting on.
How Creative Writing Can Light Up Your World
* ‘I Remember…’ (Using your own life for story inspiration.)
Peek Inside Kids’ / YA Authors’ Writing Spaces:
Tristan Bancks (Tom Weekly series, Two Wolves, The Fall)
Gus Gordon (Wendy & Illustrations for My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up)
Shamini Flint (Diary of a Cricket God)
Oliver Phommavanh (Thai-Riffic)
George Ivanoff (Gamers’ Quest)
James Phelan (The ‘Alone’ series and Lachlan Fox thrillers.)
James Roy (Town, Captain Mack, Anonymity Jones)
Pat Flynn (To the Light, Alex Jackson)
Libby Gleeson (Mahtab’s Story, Amy & Louis)
Kate Forsyth (Rhiannon’s Ride, The Witches of Eileanan)
Tohby Riddle (Nobody Owns the Moon)
Lots more Amazing Writers Sharing their space here!
My Top Writing Tips for Children and Teens
1. Write a lot. Read a lot. Live a lot. Everything you write, read and experience will help you become a better storyteller.
2. Develop a writing practice. That means writing every day. Even five minutes or three pages a day will make you a better writer.
3. Stay inspired. Stay loose. Feed on the world and let it flow into your writing. Don’t make your writing perfect at first. Just get it down.
4. Writing is Rewriting. Be prepared to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite.