Illustration shows Scriptito teaching at a board.

Tips on Creative Writing

By Dr. Virginia Lynch Graf

Go to Tips for Younger Children

Write about things that have meaning for you. Include your feelings and what you write will touch others. Don't forget to use these four steps for effective writing: pre-write your ideas briefly using phrases, write the story from your first notes, read your story and edit it, re-write it. Try not to get discouraged with the process. Remember that work pays off. You will have a story that you can be proud to share with others.

Get into the habit of writing. Carry a notebook along on vacation. Have a notebook handy for riding in the car or on the bus. Don't just wait for moments of inspiration. If you develop the habit of writing, you'll discover some really good things are happening.

Writers are readers! Most good novelists have done research before they write anything. Knowing background information about the setting and subjects of your story enhances your creative efforts. Marguerite Henry is a good example of someone who writes well and who provides a wealth of interesting information to her reader. She combines her creativity and research so well that she has received many distinctive awards. Read some of her books as models for your own writing.

Try these steps for writing. Take four pieces of paper and on each write one of the following headings: plot, characters. setting, climax. Now take the paper with plot on top of it. Think about a story that you enjoyed reading. Write a similar plot very briefly. Take the paper with characters on its heading. Develop one or two main characters that are easily recognizable. What will make them stand out, the way they talk, their looks, their ideas? Write these ideas. Under the heading of setting, create a setting that will make the plot and the characters believable. Now onto the climax. What will happen to make the story interesting and follow out its plot. How will that event get resolved. On the four papers you have an outline, Now begin writing your story.

Choose a penpal. Many times a pen pal is a good way to get into the habit of writing. We have PENPALS listed in the creative writing newsletter and there are also PENPALS listed on the home pages of the Internet. A penpal is a good way to learn about other places, ideas, people. You will find things that are similar to your own experiences as well as things which are not. Both will add to your wealth of knowledge and give you a better background for writing. Besides all that, having a PENPAL is just pure fun!

For Younger Children...

If you are still learning to write stories and it seems like a terribly big job to you, dictate them first on the tape recorder and then you won't lose your ideas. Play back the tape recorder a bit at a time as you try to get the story on paper. You don't have to do the story all at one time.

Dictate your story to an older brother or sister, or to a parent or grandparent. They will write or type the story as you dictate it. This will help you to get down the story. As you get better at writing sentences, you will be able to give the same help to someone younger than you.

Get into the habit of writing down your stories. Don't wait for teachers or parents to tell you to write. Write them and enjoy them. Read your stories to others so that they can enjoy them with you.

Read lots of books. If you don't read by yourself yet, ask someone to read to you everyday. Many libraries still have story hours for younger children. There are books that you can see and hear and there are also computers stories to see and hear. Good readers make good writers!

Go to the Vangar Homepage for Creative Writing Materials.

Go to Scriptito's Place - The Vangar Creative Writing Resource Center.

Contact us by Phone, Mail or E-mail:

(304) 728-2829
Vangar Publishers
2054 Kabletown Road
Charles Town, WV 25414

© Copyright 2009, 2005 Vangar Publishers, all rights reserved. Thank you for visiting.