Advice for Young Writers

Everybody has a story to tell.  The trick for some is to figure out how to get that story out of their heads and into words on paper or on the computer screen.  One of my favourite topics to teach has always been creative writing.  Reading students’ stories was truly the most fun I ever had as a teacher.  I also made them listen to me read my stories, which might not have been the most fun they had as students!

My plan for this page is to find and share some good online creative writing activities and perhaps down the road a bit, give aspiring young writers a place to share their writing.  It’s a work in progress, and I will continually add new information and links as I find them.

Here’s a great example of a page that is just full of writing activities…a great place to start!

Creative Writing Activity

Anything goes…

A really terrific way to get writing is to create a journal, or I guess in this day and age, a blog.  Writing about anything and everything is a great way of getting the creative juices flowing.   Just remember, you’re writing for yourself.  Don’t worry about what anyone else might think of your words…they belong to you.  Have fun with them!  This site provides a series of  prompts to get you going if the ideas aren’t quite there yet.

This is another site which has some great writing prompts with lots of great visuals.

And if you really can’t think of anything to write about, here’s a large list of questions.  All you have to do is answer!

Descriptive writing

One of the big challenges many of my students faced in improving their creative writing skills was finding ways to expand their paragraphs and make them more interesting….not to mention longer, so that the teacher was impressed with their word count.  In other words, they needed to find ways in which to make their writing more descriptive.  “It was dark out” isn’t very descriptive.  You could take the same sentence and change it up…”the clouds gathered like an angry mob protesting against the brightness of the stars, blocking out their light and plunging  me into darkness”.  Or if you wanted to give a different impression entirely “darkness covered me, cloaking me from view with a velvety blanket of safety”.

One place to get started is to work on integrating similes and metaphors into your writing.  Or maybe the place to get started is to figure out exactly what similes and metaphors are and to practice creating them.  While I’m sure you’ve already learned this in school, it doesn’t hurt to have a refresher.  This site has a good, basic description of both literary tools and the quizzes are simple and quick.

This site has a huge list of both similes and metaphors.  They’re quite simple but are a good start point.  Try reading them over and coming up with better ones.

Every time you practise your writing, try to insert  at least one simile and one metaphor somewhere into each paragraph.  Be as creative and crazy and far-fetched as you want. Play with your words and have fun with your writing!

  • Shawna Nesbitt

    This is a great page.