Posted on 7th January 2012
Creative writing is something that all students will have to do at some point. It is particularly important at primary school and in the first few years of secondary school. However it can be hard to get started, think of ideas and include lots of exciting vocabulary. Writing isn’t something that you are either naturally good at or not and by practising lots you will definitely improve. Think of yourself like an athlete training for a race. You wouldn’t run a marathon without doing some training, and nor can you write an impressive story without working on your writing beforehand.
To help you out, below are some exercises and things you can do to improve your skills…
Find some postcards and use them as a stimulus for a short piece. You could describe what you see in the postcard, or write a short story inspired by what you can see.
Get a simple household object and describe it without naming it (a bit like the game Articulate, but in written, rather than spoken form).
Collect new words in a little notebook. Every time you come across a new word, look up what it means and then jot it down and challenge yourself to use it that day.
Read as much as you can! Poems, novels, plays and articles will all inspire you.
Start writing letters to friends. Have you got a friend or cousin that you don’t see very often? Why not write to them? Everyone loves receiving letters and you’ll improve your writing at the same time.
Spend five minutes every day doing some ‘stream of consciousness writing’ where you just grab a pen and piece of paper and write down whatever is in your head continuously for five minutes.
Think of a time of day (e.g. midday). Then think of a place (e.g. Victoria station). Next, three things that you have felt in the last week (e.g. hungry, anxious, excited). Lastly, think of a problem (e.g. there’s been a power cut). Now you need to find a way to link all of these things together: a person who is hungry, anxious and excited at midday in Victoria Station in the middle of a power cut. Why are they there? What are they going to do next?
Go for a walk around London and see what you can find to inspire you. Maybe you want to write about a building, or make up a story about a person you saw in the park. There are so many wonderful things around us that potential stories are everywhere!
Have fun and good luck!