Tips for writing with your children
1. Take a notebook out with you so you can jot ideas down when your child thinks of something good to add to their story or poem.
2. Make it fun – try writing a story together where you take turns to make up the next sentence. The more people who play this game the better.
3. Read lots of different types of books and poems to your child as this widens their interest. Even stuff that they wouldn’t normally choose can be inspiring.
4. To make things more dramatic encourage your child to use shorter sentences as this builds tension. While longer, flowing sentences are more relaxing to read. Help them vary the pace a bit.
5. Let your child make the rules up about what’s allowed and how it has to be done. Remember you are entering the realm of story – they do things differently there.
6. Try to get your child to have an idea of where they want their poem or story to go. It helps to know how you’d like it to end and have a goal in sight.
7. Think of characters, what they look like, sound like, wear, as well as their names. It makes them more interesting if you’ve created lots of details about them.
8. Ask lots of questions – questions are a good way of moving the story forward. Don’t just ask about what’s obvious (already in the story) ask about things that haven’t even been thought of yet – what’s he hiding in his pocket? Who does she meet next? Why does he always wear one red glove……
9. To begin with, don’t worry about things like grammar, spelling or making sense. Sometimes nonsense is where the most exciting things occur. Grammar and spelling can always be tidied up later if you think you need it.
10. When you’ve finished your work leave your story or poem aside for a day or so then re-read it. You’ll be amazed by how you can improve and change it for the better just by seeing it with fresh eyes.