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How to help your child become an exceptional writer

Writing

What does it take for a child to become an exceptional writer?

While everyone else in the class is getting less than 50% in essay writing, there is usually that student who gets 90% or even 95%!

Why is that?

Well, for sure, talent plays a huge role – many children are just naturally very talented at writing than others. But that’s just a part of the story.

Becoming exceptional at writing usually involves much more than we realize. There are some nuances that help exceptional writers become that way, and your child can learn them too.

Below are 6 Unbreakable Habits of Exceptional Writers that will drastically improve your child’s writing abilities.

Before that…

We need to come to terms.

If you are reading this article and you don’t believe that your child can also become an exceptional writer, you can as well stop reading this.

If you do not believe that your child, no matter how poor he or she may be, can grow to become a better writer, then you will not be able to make full use of the advice that will be shared here. 

Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them. If you believe your child cannot become a better writer, then there’s very little this article can do to help you.

However, if you believe (like we do) that your child has the potential to become an exceptional writer, fasten your belt and let’s take a ride.

5 Unbreakable Habits of Exceptional Young Writers

All exceptional writers have certain writing habits that make them exceptional. Your child can also become an exceptional writer by learning these habits. 

Habit 1 – Start with the end in mind.

This involves creative imagination and formation of a goal for the writing. 

Before starting that essay writing assignment, take some minutes to help your child develop a clear mental picture of where the story or essay would lead to.

What would the story be about?

Who would achieve what?

Who would get what?

Where would it end?

How would it end?

Answering these questions will help your child develop a clear picture of what to do. 

Starting an essay without having a clear picture of where it would lead to is like starting a race without knowing where the finish line is.

Habit 2 – Write Consciously

This is common sense. Isn’t it? 

Yes, but common sense is not common practice. 

Many young writers (and even adult writers) write unconsciously. They just fill in the words into whitespace as they come, and not really give it some thoughts.

Writing consciously involves paying adequate attention to what you’re writing. It involves carefully choosing the words you use and how you use them, where to use a comma or a semi-colon, how long your sentences and paragraphs should be, the kind of voice or tone to use, etc.

Exceptional writers pay attention to these details because they know it affects how the reader perceives the essay.

For example: in the previous sentence, the word ‘perceives’ is used. You can change the word to ‘reads’ (which is also correct), but the impressions created by both words are different.

This is a very little point, but it can greatly affect how the entire sentence would feel to you. 

Such subtle impressions are made in every sentence. The more attention your child pays to them (by writing consciously), the better his or her writing will be, and vice versa.

Habit 3 – Write with Simplicity

Most young writers try to impress the teacher, examiner, or just any reader by using big words and uncommon language. This, they believe, will make the teacher award them more marks. Usually, the opposite is the case.

When it comes to writing, less is more and the simpler the better. Using simple words like ‘use’ instead of ‘utilize,’ ‘surprised’ instead of ‘flabergasted,’ ‘cheerful’ instead of ‘convival.’

Young writers often think these words make them sound smart; but in fact, it does the opposite.

Exceptional writers ensure that their writing is as simple as possible. The more complex it becomes, the harder it is to read, and the lower the score.

“Writing long sentences is like adding water to tea; the more words, the weaker the message.”

Dianna Booher, author and writing expert 

Habit 4 – Yearn to Connect

Exceptional writers always seek to connect with their readers. They don’t just write anyhow they like, they keep the reader in mind and try to mae sure he or she gets the message they are trying to pass.

Help your child write better by discovering who the target audience is and how to deeply connect with them. 

An essay for primary school students may not be appropriate for secondary students. This is because they are different entities with unique characteristics that define their reading needs.

After discovering the target audience, the next thing is to write for them. If your target audience is your best friend, write like you are talking to him or her (i.e casual and friendly).

Too often young writers lose the point by trying to write for everybody. When you write for everybody, you write for nobody. 

Habit 5 – Think Like an Artist

One major difference between an exceptional writer and a mediocre writer is that the exceptional writer thinks always strives to make the writing elegant.

This involves checking the flow of the words, making use of literary devices, using techniques like rhymes and others to make the writing beautiful. 

The job of an artist is to make something beautiful. Exceptional writers do not just write essays that are informative, they try to make it beautiful.

This very unnoticeable aspect is one of the reason why we enjoy some arcticles and feel bored by others even if they have the same information.

Do not just ask your child to fill in the important information in his or her writing, ensure it is also beautiful by using some of the strategies mentioned above.

For many young writers, especially in school, writing is a very tough challenge. It will take time for your child to become an exceptional writer, but one thing is certain: through constant practice, every child can eventually become great at writing.

Your child can also join Season 11 of Scribes & Orators, our annual creative writing and public speaking training for kids.

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