Stoking Young Fire

POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

 

Stoking Young Fire

By Nandy Ekle

 

So a very young person, around the age of ten or eleven, comes to you and says, I want to write a story. What do I do?” What do you say to child of that age?

Well that age of kid may not be ready to hear about plot or theme or conflict. They may not even be ready to hear about characterization.

I think one of the first things I would say to a third or fourth grader is that the key to learning to write stories is to read stories. Reading published works by successful authors can be more important than reading a textbook about how to write. We subconsciously learn to put stories together, and we learn to describe scenes.

The second thing I would tell this child is that writing stories is most like playing make believe with our friends. Instead of acting out a game of “play like,” we right down the scenarios. And this is the basis of where stories come from.

A third thing I would explain to this child is that writers write. So the best way to learn about writing is to write.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

Tag word: plot, conflict, make believe.

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