Real world writing applications are not restricted to imaginary/creative writing but have a lot more to do with written communication as a skill. Be it an answer to a question in an exam, an informal note to a friend or a thank you note to someone or something more formal such as formal letter/email to someone important, there is little room for imagination. If that's the case why is there such emphasis on "creative writing"?
The terms "creative writing" can be misleading. Does it involve writing of various kinds or only stories? The Collins Dictionary defines creative writing as, "writing which is imaginative and inspiring especially fiction." It is a great way to encourage children to begin writing and express themselves creatively through stories. Some children develop a liking for writing stories and even poetry. Many of them are very diligent about it and follow the publishing route as a means of accomplishment.
Creative writing is only the beginning. It is not sufficient as your child moves on to higher grades.
Primary school requirements would predominantly include story writing and gradually transform into personal narrative writing, otherwise known as diary entry. As they move on to high school, expectation to write factual answers across various subjects becomes a critical skill. This involves using the right key words apart from writing all the points that constitutes the answer. The writing section in the English paper gradually moves on to more factual writing prompts such as paragraph writing or essay writing prompts, depending on the syllabus. Writing a fictional story is quite different from writing a non-fiction piece. For instance in a fictional story, there is a lot more leeway for creativity, imagination and hence more freedom. On the other hand a non-fiction piece requires verification of facts, analysis and the ability to express one's perspective/thoughts in a concise and impactful manner. In some sense there is a lot less creative freedom when it comes to writing non-fiction.
As they move on to high school, expectation to write factual answers across various subjects becomes a critical skill. This involves using the right key words apart from writing all the points that constitutes the answer.
The reading and writing connection
Just as reading story books extensively helps with creative writing, reading news articles covering a variety of matters helps one's writing style when it comes to non-fiction as well. School textbooks are studied for grasping concepts. Where as when students read out side of school, when they can make a choice when it comes to reading articles in the news based on what catches their attention. This way, it is far more likely that they would absorb the nuances involved in impactful non-fiction writing. A good example of such an article is Lizzo Plays New Notes on James Madison's Crystal Flute from 1813. The article covers an extraordinary event in which the renowned artist Lizzo plays a crystal flute that once belonged to President James Madison. The article enables readers to ponder about the flute, its history, what led to this musical event, what it would have felt like to be in the audience on that day and above all gain an understanding why history was made on this memorable day. Written concisely, not a dull sentence anywhere, the language flows beautifully revealing detail by detail and in the end one is left with a sense of satisfaction of having read something well written.
How does a group discussion help with honing writing approaches:
When the teens discussed the article about Lizzo playing the old crystal flute, at the Young Writers' Club, new perspectives emerged and observations about the writing style were shared. Such group discussions help reenforce effective writing approaches. Ample time and freedom when provided to experiment with these approaches in response to a variety of writing prompts has been enabling the teen writers to observe their own writing from a reader's perspective and make changes they deem fit to take their writing to the next level.
If you enjoyed reading this article, click on the button below to stay informed.
Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-11 age group, the Young Writers' Club program for the 12-14 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.
Need more information? Please fill in the contact form below and we will reach out to you asap.