Copyright Stephenie Hovland. Used with permission from http://EzineArticles.com. All rights reserved.
Many young writers get excited about seeing their words in print. It’s natural. You did all the hard work (which was actually kind of fun!) and then saw it printed. Not only did you like it, but others did, too. So, what’s the next step to writing something other than an assignment?
First, you need to make sure you keep reading. Take time every day, if possible, to read books. Read about writing, like these two books by Marion Dane Bauer: Our Stories: a Fiction Workshop for Young Authors, and What’s Your Story? A Young Person’s Guide to Writing Fiction. Dive into many other books as well. You definitely should read books that are similar to what you like to write, but don’t stop there. You will see how different kinds of books fill your brain with new story ideas and writing techniques.
Second, see if you can find other kids who like to write, too. Maybe a teacher will help you organize a writing group. The idea behind this is that you will all write what you want, on your own time, not for an assignment. Then, bring your writing to the group meeting (once or twice a month.) Pass the writing around, giving everyone about five to ten minutes to read each person’s manuscript. Make notes on it, helping out with spelling, description, plot, etc. Be careful that you aren’t too harsh. Make suggestions, but don’t ever tell someone else their writing is bad. Share what you like and what needs a little help.
Third, check out some writing websites for kids. http://HarperTeen.com contains a cool site for teen writers. http://Smartwriters.com has a section devoted to young writers. http://TheWriteSource.com is from a textbook publisher, but is a great resource if you dig through the site. If you search http://Scholastic.com for a section called “Write It,” you will find ways to improve your writing, chat with other young writers, and even get published.
Search for sites that don’t make you pay to get published. Be careful. There are many scams that will accept anything you write, then make you pay for a big book full of many writers’ work. Here’s the catch: They make you feel special, saying you’ve been chosen from among many people for a special edition of the book. The truth is that they will take any writing, good or bad, and they tell everyone the same thing. That doesn’t make you feel very special, does it?
If you do these three things, you will see your writing abilities get better and better. Of course, you have to write (a lot!) to see your writing improve. So, don’t forget to keep reading, writing, and sharing your writing with others.
Visit Stephenie’s site http://faith-filled.com/Faith-filled_Journal.html
for more ideas for kids.
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