Here is the most helpful advice given to me about becoming a writer: If you want to write, the best way to get better at it is to just write, plain and simple. Also, read, read, read, and read some more because through books you will figure out how to craft stories. Do both of these things as much as you can, and you will be on your way. Enjoy!
- Begin by describing your room. Show the reader how the objects in your room look, feel, taste, smell. After you write this description, have someone walk into your room. It can be someone that you know, or a fictional character. Have them find something that they were not meant to find. In the next room in your home, they find something else that they were not supposed to find. Take this person through every room in your house and have him or her discover an item from each. These are all clues that will unlock a mystery. Keep writing, and read Ron Roy’s A-Z Mysteries for guidance.
- Write in the voice of your pet (or imagine that you have a pet, and write as that pet). Begin by describing everyday life, and then decide that something extraordinary is about to happen. Remember, use the first person point of view, and write as if you were your pet. Check out the Puppy Place series for examples of stories that are “written” by furry friends with four legs.
- Write about an imagined place. Three people are chosen to visit there every year, and this year you are one of them. There you are to learn something new and special that no one has ever learned before. Describe this place, talk about why you were chosen to visit, who will be going along with you, and what you will learn. If you haven’t already, read The Giver by Lois Lowry.
- You are in the house alone. You hear a loud noise coming from the closet in the hallway. What happens next? The Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine might inspire your suspense writing.
- Write about your neighbors. What are they like? Are they very similar to your family? In what ways? Are they much different from your family? How? Read When the Circus Came to Town by Polly Horvath.
- Make a list of three people that you know (could be a family member, a friend, a teacher, a doctor, a friend’s parent, anyone). Next to each person, write something about them. For example: 1.) Mom - black shoes. 2.) my friend Jamie - curly hair. 3.) Dr. Denson - very deep voice. Then make a new character that has each of these characteristics. For example, my new character is Fred Milano who wears the same black shoes every day, has tight, curly hair, and has the deepest voice in the fourth grade. Then play around with writing the beginning of a story with Fred as the main character. For examples of quirky characters, check out the Wayside School series by Louis Sachar.
- Write as the main character of your favorite novel. Pretend like this person goes to your school and is in your class. What happens when this character enters your world? One of my favorite main characters is Billie Jo Kelby from Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust.
- Write about something that is going on in your family. For example, your little brother just turned four, your family is moving to another state, your older sister won a scholarship. How do you feel about this? Now write about this same event from the point of view of someone else in your family. Check out the Mother-Daughter Book Club novels to see how author Heather Vogel Frederick switches points of view.
- Culture is something that can be defined by the clothes that you wear, the place where you were born, the language that you speak, your belief systems, and the foods that you eat. Write about your culture. Where were your parents born? Where were you born? If your family is one of mixed cultures, write about how those cultures come together. The book Jalapeño Bagels by Natasha Wing focuses on a boy whose mom is Mexican and whose dad is Jewish.
- Write about something that happened to you that were not expecting at all. How did this thing come to happen? What did you have to do as a result? How did it make you feel? Is anything different about your life now that this thing has happened? Read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.