Activities for young writers

1.  USE YOUR IMAGINATION

Use your imagination to think outside ordinary, everyday happenings. Ask yourself 'What if' questions.  For example, what if tomato sauce came out of your milk container?  How did it get there?  What happened next?  The answers your imagination comes up with could make an interesting story.

2.  MAKE USE OF YOUR FEELINGS
Did something happen today that made you frightened, happy, proud, sad, angry or excited?  Or can you remember a particular time when you felt very powerfully one of these emotions?  Describe what took place, step by step, and what sort of feelings you had.

3. DESCRIBE A PLACE

Describe (a) a place you know well, e.g. your bedroom or the kitchen, OR (b) a place that you invent out of your imagination.  As well as what can be seen, describe the sounds and smells, and even how something might feel to touch.

4.  DIALOGUE

Imagine a situation where two people meet for the first time. What do they say to each other?  Do they have anything in common to talk about?  Is one of them friendly and the other not?  Or will  they be friends?  Using only their conversation, write down what they say to each other.

5.  SEEING FROM ANOTHER VIEWPOINT

Do you have a pet?  If not, you can use the viewpoint of a bird.  Pretend you are this bird or animal, and describe how they see their day, what they think of you and your family, your home, and what their world is like.

6.  BUILDING A CHARACTER

Look at a photograph or a picture of someone you don't know.  You might like to give them a name.  What do their face and their clothes tell you about them?  Using your imagination, make up a character study of them.  How old are they?  Where do they live?  What kind of family do they have?  What are they good at?  What do they struggle with?  What are their hopes and dreams?

7.  KEEP A DAILY DIARY.

Keep a daily diary describing what happened in your day.  Focus on one or two events that stood out.

8. SHARED WRITING

This is a bit like the game of consequences.  You write the first paragraph of a story, then a family member or friend writes the next paragraph.  You each take it in turns to write a paragraph that grows and develops the story.  Older children could write a chapter each.