I am thrilled about this guest post from the youngest writer yet to grace the pages of Nothing Any Good. I love it. She wrote these tips for kids that aspire to write, but honestly, they apply to all of us. Take her advice to heart, friends. Katrina Kusa, you are an inspiration. You are wise beyond your years! Keep following your love of writing wherever it takes you!
by Katrina Kusa
I’ve been writing since I was 8 years old, and my first book was published at 12. So it may come as no surprise that I think the best writers of children’s books are kids themselves! That’s why I want to share 7 creative writing tips for kids. These tips are great for any child who enjoys writing, or who even wants to start writing their own book someday.
Writing Tip #1: Always Be Brainstorming
Look for ideas in your everyday life. These can be interesting people you meet, a joke or quote from a friend, or even things that happen at school. The idea for The Kingdom of the Lizards came from seeing kids at my school in Florida ‘playing’ with lizards and catching these animals for fun.
I like to carry a small notebook to jot ideas down as I get them. Once you have a brainstorming list, you can expand on the ideas that stand out or even combine a few thoughts to create a new story.
Writing Tip #2: Practice Creating Characters
This goes hand in hand with my first creative writing tip. Who would be the characters starring in your story? Who knows, maybe these character sheets will turn into the base of your story one day!
I like to create characters by using several columns on a page in my notebook. I include things like:
- Name (including any nicknames or aliases);
- Outer physical traits such as hair color and height; and
- Personality traits and likes/dislikes.
Once I have these columns filled out, I add a couple of sentences about how this character would describe themselves compared to how others would describe them. Sometimes it’s fun to not have these things match up because it can make the character more interesting.
Writing Tip #3: Make the Story Sensible
Writing allows kids to be really creative, but you still have to think of how to make your story make sense. You can still use your great imagination, but you have to follow-up to make sure your storyline is going the way it should be. For example, if you write that there is one blue car in the driveway and a couple sentences later you say there is one green car in the driveway it just wouldn’t make complete sense.
So I advise writers of all ages out there to take breaks to reread sections to make sure that it still makes sense and that each sentence moves the action forward. If something is there that doesn’t fit, change it or remove it. After you make changes, read the sections again to make sure that it is reasonable and it flows together.
Writing Tip #4: Stick to a Schedule
The fourth tip I have is to schedule time for your writing. For young authors, 30 minutes to an hour a few times a week is perfect to stay on track with your book. When you’re not spending time wisely, your deadline is going to increase.
The best way to have a beautiful book is to spend more of your valuable time just on this subject. Turn off any electronics that may distract you during your writing and just go in the zone.
Writing Tip #5: Read!
It may sound strange, but reading can be a helpful writing tip for kids; you can learn a lot from a well-written book. Your favorite stories could give elements of a new tale to write. It can also be inspiring to read other great works and know that you can create something wonderful as well.
Writing Tip #6: Play Games that Make You Think
I enjoy playing games with my family and friends! It’s not just fun, but it’s also a way for me to hone my writing and creative thinking skills. For other young authors, playing games like Scrabble, logic puzzles, and crosswords can help put your mind in the right mental state it needs to write. Scrabble helps you learn more words in a fun way. While word puzzles help to be able to connect the dots faster. Both are a great start for any story!
Writing Tip #7: Stay True to Yourself
Finding your voice at a young age is one of my favorite creative writing tips for other kids. Always write what you like and enjoy. As much as you may want to please your readers, if you write something you don’t care about then your heart won’t be in it.
Don’t listen to anyone telling you that you should not write in this genre write in another. Just write what you love and love what you write! Aim to write a book that you’d want to read over and over again, then you’ll find readers who love your work just as much.
Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.
About the Author
Katrina Kusa is the teen author of the award-winning children’s book The Kingdom of the Lizards. This young author wants to inspire other kids to write and achieve their dream of being published. Learn more about this talented, young author at www.katrinakusa.com.