1. Endovert
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    Endovert Member

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    Tips for writing with a kid?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Endovert, Apr 3, 2012.

    I've been thinking about trying to write with my young child, but I've been a little discouraged because the child either isn't interested or doesn't respond well when I add to the story or prompt her. Any ideas for making it fun for parents and children to create a story together?
     
  2. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Contributing Member

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    Depends on the age of the child. Most children don't have a long attention span. The first thing would be not directing them to a specific story. Just ask them if they could create a world what would it be like. Likely they'll give you an answer then lose interest. Don't push. Wait till the next night and ask them to tell you more about their world. If you make it a regular routine without pushing you'll get further then constantly trying to prompt them. That just makes them stubborn.
     
  3. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    How old is the child? I wrote a whole novel together with my cousins, but they were 8 and 11. I guess it needs to come up organically. We started because the youngest asked me to write a story for her, and I asked what about, and she went on about princesses with pretty hair and how they should live in a weird country, and then the oldest boy added that there should be ninjas and samurais. Then they started drawing scenes and characters. Then when they were done, I took what we had and made it comprehensible. It turned into a very good story actually. They were only interested for a couple of hours that evening. The next day they wanted to do something else. They loved the end result though.
     
  4. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Start with an actual storybook. A book that your children want to read. Ask them what they think the story's gonna be about, get them to look at the pictures and ask them what they think happened there before you start reading. Then read together, find out if you're right.

    And eventually, when you get to a "cross-road" in the story, where the character must decide to do A or B, ask your children which one they think the character should do and why. Go from there. Get them to draw little pictures of what they think happens next. Then you can put it into words for/with them and voila - you have your own version of Sleeping Beauty, for example :)

    You can later finish reading the actual book with your children.

    And here's another fun exercise - get your children to write their own alternate ending to the story.

    That, or it's primary school teaching for ya.
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    say you're busy/can't play with them when they want your attention and I can garantee they will like to join you in whatever you're doing :) trying to keep them away from the computer when you are writing is the best way to make them interested! ;)
    or you could just let them sit with you while you're writing (something child-friendly) or even write a bedtime story as you go (with the child present but without the need to contribute.) besides from that i think encourage them to read is a good thing, after that it's all personal interest in the end. Something that feels forced probably won't make them eager to write themselves, like if it's perceived as a chore.
     
  6. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    I agree with the above poster; as a child they should be doing a lot more reading than writing. They likely do a lot of formal writing in school anyway.

    That's what worked for me as a kid. I started reading Harry Potter when I was nine and its a great series to interest children in the art of creative writing.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What I would do at that young age is read to them at bedtime. Occasionally pick a situation from what you read on a recent night and ask the child how he or she might have done in that situation instead.

    That way they are exercising their imaginations, and at the same time developing an appetite for the written story.

    I read to my kids when they were growing up, including the complete Lord of the Rings.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it depends a lot on how old your little girl is... what's her age?
     
  9. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    Two things -
    One my dad would tell me stories and then stop at certain places and ask what should happen or he would tell me how it ends and ask what other ways it could end. It was great fun and I have lots of fond memories from it.
    Two my son utterly refuses to let me read anything he's written while he's writing. After he's gotten the grade on the report or he feels his story is finished he will sometimes show it too me (he lets me know that it's completely finished so there is no need to critique :) ). He isn't interested in my views about his writing as a writer, only my views of his writing as his mom. In other words he wants me to be a cheerleader not a coach. So sometimes writing with a child isn't what the child wants.
     

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