Few children need much help to be creative. The problems start when they have to write down their ideas. Grammar and spelling are distracting for the writer – and, if they go wrong, for the reader. Simply choosing the right words to express an idea or an emotion can be a significant challenge.
Another difficulty comes from the fact that the most creative ideas often start out messily – a tangle of impressions, feelings, characters and settings. On the other hand, conveying an idea effectively in the form of a short story requires it to be simple, with an uncomplicated structure. Learning what to leave out and what to alter – how to pull logic out of chaos – is not easy.
The following graphic, which is designed to be printed on as large a sheet as possible and stuck above a young writer’s desk, summarises the advice given in my 11 Plus creative writing guide. It features 12 easy-to-learn hints which will help children practise effectively for their exams, as well as showing them how to make the most of their homework tasks – not to mention helping them produce satisfying results when writing for pleasure.