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  1. #1

    Default Fiction writing help for kids

    Im looking for a resource to help DS11 write better fictional stories.
    The NANOWRIMO packet isnt really a lot of help in advancing his writing skills.
    Google and amazon searching any combination of "fiction writing" and "kids" return a mass of products on how adults can write literature for juveniles.
    Hes really needing help with things like imagery, character development, dialog.... the things that are part of writing craftsmanship.

    I can point things out to him, but that just feels like Im being critical, telling him his writing is no good. So something that teaches those aspects would be nice, and less personal.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

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  3. #2
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    What about one of the Brave Writer online classes?
    Rebecca
    DS 14, DD 12
    Year 8

  4. #3

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    Yeah, AM, doesn't Julie of the Almightily Wonderful BraveWriter have an app for that? All kidding aside (you know I just couldn't get by her "rah rah you mom! you can do this!" mojo), maybe look into breaking it down. Setting. Plot. Character. etc. Can you break out your old Mosdos books and go through them for style pointers? Maybe have him do some background of all the lit devices of his story and then smash them together later? (So I am saying his story is about a modern day 11 yo California boy and his dog, the boy wants to do xyz, here is the problem getting to xyz, and here is how he resolves it...)
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  5. #4

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    We used Druidawn for two sessions. 11yo loved it. You can ask for more coaching, but the default is that every week the kids are given a writing prompt and a number of words to write in order to get a reward they can use to build out their character in the RPG they play. The first part of each class has the kids reading each other's stories and then giving some feedback. They were all very kind. The leader gives feedback, too.

    I can say with no doubt that this approach sharply increased her willingness to write fiction. She nearly always blew past the minimum words required for a reward.

    What might be missing for you is the coaching. I saw on the Druidawn site that you can get more coaching.

    Creative Writing Lesson Plan: Legends of Druidawn

  6. #5

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    I just picked up a new creative writing book: A Pirate's Guide t' th' Grammar of Story. The lessons start with story from a pirate captain, illustrating the lesson. The lessons themselves are broken into short, manageable pieces. The chapters include: Mindstorming; Being Specific; Setting; Values; Symbolism; Backstory; Characterizations; etc.

    We're going to use it in the upcoming year, but I like it on the outset at least. I think it will be easier for my sometimes reluctant (and sometimes not reluctant) boys to work through.

  7. #6

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    My daughter did a stint through Writing Strands when she was around middle school age. You'd probably want to start about level 3, 4, or 5, depending on how advanced your son is. Sorry I'm not more help than that.

    I have a question for you, though. Is it your son wanting to write fiction, or are you wanting him to write fiction? I'm asking because in my experience (n = 2!!), if a kid doesn't care for it, he'll never do a good job. My son detested it when asked to write "made up" stories. He was fine with practical writing (letters, travel journals, how-to instructions), research papers, and essays about when he read.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  8. #7

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    DS really enjoys writing stories, and I dont want to squash that.
    He also claims at this point to wish to become a writer.

    Seeing things modeled and discussed in Mosdos *shouldve* (according to my logic) enabled him to implement those aspects in his writing... but it hasnt rubbed off. Same with having BW style copywork and literary discussions.

    My college Fiction-Writing text goes through elements one at a time. I guess I was in a bit of a rut and was thinking a version of that scaled down to his level of sophistication was what I needed. Thanks to the suggestions, I can go investigate a bunch of things.

    Thanks
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    DS really enjoys writing stories, and I dont want to squash that.
    He also claims at this point to wish to become a writer.
    My daughter used to be part of an online blog group called Teens Can Write, Too. The site is closed now, but you can find the archives here. The only other things I can suggest is to keep encouraging him and giving him time to write. Sometimes you don't even need to critique his writing, My daughter liked to keep some writing to herself, or for review with friends. It was HER thing. Being a physics/math nerd, I was absolutely no help for my daughter in a teaching sense.

    I hope some of this helps.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by inmom View Post
    My daughter liked to keep some writing to herself, or for review with friends. It was HER thing.
    Im like that, in that the idea of sharing my writing to collaborate with someone else (or take critiques) is pretty abhorrent.
    We had a workshop at the charter a couple months ago "helping your homeschooler to write", and one of the strategies was that collaboration was soooo important. No way for me, especially as a teen! Which is why a text that uses impersonal exercizes appealed.
    But my son is way more extroverted and is willing to share his stories with everyone and anyone, so maybe more collaborative is better for him.
    It is about him, not me!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  11. #10

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    The Creative Writer series published by Peace Hill Press may be helpful. I've toyed around with getting it, but haven't yet- it looks intriguing.
    ​​~ DD-13 homeschooled
    ~ DS-17 formerly homeschooled, now attending private school

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Fiction writing help for kids