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Free Writing Tips

The Co-op is pleased to present free writing tips from Julie Bogart, the creator of the popular Brave Writer writing curriculum.

Check back frequently for new tips, as we add new tips every few days. Or, sign up for Julie's Daily Tip newsletter on the Brave Writer website. You'll get a FREE eBook with your subscription: Help your Kids Fall in Love with Writing!

 

Writing Tip
Questions to “get more words” out of your writers.
All writers benefit from learning how to ask themselves questions to generate more words. The interrogative process is the key...
Vote on your favorite words at dinner.
Give your kids a week to post words on a white board prominently displayed in your house. They are to post their favorite...
Write about what you’re avoiding.
Write it down. Ask your kids. What are they avoiding? Have them write it down. Post these notes in a place they can be seen...
How to capture the best narrations in writing.
This is a great time of year to catch your child in the act of narrating—expressing a thought, experience, or the content of a movie...
Write more than one, epic story.
Occasionally a writer gets so seduced by a single story line, she can’t abandon it, even after she’s worked on it for...
Be relational when you comment on your children’s writing.
Many of you may not yet be acquainted with my writing guru, Peter Elbow. I reference him and his philosophy of writing frequently...
Practice writing characters with extreme personalities.
It’s easier for kids to write about strongly drawn characters, rather than subtle, nuanced personalities. One way to help them...
Comma Splices
Ah the comma splice—that illegally created two-sentence-in-one monster that appears in writing everywhere, including mine. Commas are meant to create a pause in the sentence—a place to breathe, or exhale, or shift gears...
Colormania
Here's a good activity for a rainy, cold, or cloudy day when you must stay indoors. Talk with your kids about colors...
Silly Writing
Have your kids list ten items they notice around the house. For example: banana, dog, sofa, painting...
Fiction Plots
Together with your kids select one of your favorite family books and follow the plot by jotting down the important action...
Futurizing
Ask your kids to think about who they are now and what they're interested in. What do they imagine...
Facing the past
A flashback is a part of a story where the action shifts from the present to a point in the past, which can be...
Time for new nouns!
Talk to your kids about poetry. Then select a poem together and remove all the nouns (words for people...
A good word game
You and your kids have probably played the word game "Fortunately, Unfortunately," where players come up with...
Story villains
Most stories have good guys and bad guys. Certainly this is true in a western or mystery or thriller. But there are...
Write about the sense of smell.
Smelling takes a back seat to the other senses, especially seeing and hearing. Why is this the case? Probably because...
Tell us what you feel.
Have your kids choose an emotion and pretend it's a person. What if Anger were a human being? Would it be...
What is the book about?
Books and films are two popular forms of fiction, and many good novels will probably be adapted into films...
A writer's life
If your kids feel uncertain about their writing, suggest they ask someone they know who writes for fun...
Unique character traits
Sometimes new writers tend to create story characters that are difficult to distinguish from one another. But to make...
Make up a pseudonym for yourself.
There are writers who prefer not to use their birth names when they write a story, essay, or article. So they make up...
Going back in history
Pick up a history book with your kids and flip through it or check the Internet. If you didn't live in the twenty-first century, what...
on writing and language arts curriculum and online classes from Brave Writer -- by and for homeschoolers! Now with lesson plans!
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