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Creative writing tip #1

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 11:32 PM
I get parents asking me regularly on how to get their children to start writing down their imaginative ideas. I also had the pleasure of working with a group of year 1/2 students two weeks ago on creative writing exercise as part of their writing class at school.  We started with a blank piece of paper each and by the end of one hour, I had the entire class of 27 students eagerly sharing their stories with me. We had a great time and I have decided to share a few exercises on creative writing with you too! 

This first creative writing exercise emphasises on Personification. Personification simply allows the writer to create character/s for their stories. Characters are the ones that makes a story interesting. So it would be really good to get children to start thinking about the characters in their stories. 

These are the things you would need: 
*A plate of three fruits. They could be the same kind of fruits or they could be different fruits. For a small group, three fruits should be enough. Increase
* Writing papers
* Coloured pencils
* Pencils

Note to Parents/Guardians/Teachers - 
Please do this activity with your child/Children as kids love working with their parents/guardians...

Task 1:
Ask your little gem/s to take a fruit from the plate and look at it carefully for two minutes. 
You take a fruit too and look at it really carefully for two minutes.

Things to note: Colour, texture and anything different about the fruit you have in your hand. For example, if the fruit is an orange - Make a note of any spots, discolouration and if it is rough or smooth or has green shades to the skin etc.

Task 2:
Now get your little gem to give a name to the fruit. A human name. You do that too. 
Tell each other who your fruits are and introduce the fruits to each other. 

Task 3: 
Put the fruit back on the plate.
Ask your little gem/s to imagine that the fruit is part of a story. You and your little gem/s have five minutes to create in your minds the story about this new character - the fruit named (_____) Don't share yet. 
Write down: who this fruit is.
Age, place of birth, family members or friends if any
work if any, school if any
what clothes the fruit is wearing and why
These questions will help you and your little gem to create the character as a real life character.

*OPTIONAL: Task 4 is optional but it will make the exercise interesting.
Task 4:
Draw an image of this fruit, now with a name and a story as you see it on paper.  
So if you named your fruit - Spotty. Draw Spotty on a piece of paper. Preferably on the top of the paper and write Spotty at the bottom of your drawing. 
This could take between 10 to 15 minutes as children usually love to draw and colour and make additional bits to their characters. 
Tell them they can add spectacles, dresses or pants, hats and all sorts of clothing bits and friends and family members to their characters. The fruit can be old or young according to image they have of their character in their story. 
Same applies to you. Put in some effort to bring out the best of your character on paper. 
For those adults like me who can't draw, stick figures will also be fine. As long as you can draw an image on the paper to show how you visualise your character.  

Task 5 or Task 4 if you skipped the task on drawing:
Share the story surrounding your new character with each other and.or show each other your visual picture of your character on paper. 

Note to Parents/Guardians/Teachers: 

This is a simple exercise that gives the child an idea of how to create a character. Your role would be to guide them once they have shared their story by
1) Liking their character and praising them for their creativity
2) Telling them how you saw a story come alive because of their chosen character
3) Make sure you tell an interesting story as well as they look up to you for encouragement
OPTIONAL:
4) Giving them suggestions on how the story can sound interesting if the story needs enhancement or changing. NEVER put their story down. 

When it comes to the first writing exercise, never criticise. Always encourage the effort no matter how outrageous the story may sound or the character may be. 
Children also sometimes tell you they can't draw and shun the activity. Help them out with the drawing if you can to make sure they see the character they created on paper. This teaches them to visualise their creations. 

Make the first experience of writing, creating and sharing positive. Kids thrive on encouragement and when they see their work being appreciated, it will motivate them to be better writers!

To take this exercise a little further, you can merge all your fruit characters and make another story or continue from each other's story. This exercise is a fun and great way to create one or two stories within an hour!

Try the exercise and do send me your feedback via [email protected]gemzcreativearts.com and/or send me a story sample to publish on the Gemz Creative Arts website. 

Enjoy your new stories and I will post more Creative Writing tips soon!

Remember, I am conducting Creative Writing Exercises through my Arts and Craft School Holiday Programthis September! Get more details via www.gemzcreativearts.com to register your child/children on the program! 



Creatively,
Dr Puva Arumugam









Categories: Creative chats

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