Stephen King once rightly said “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”
Although not all avid readers are good writers, it’s a given that most good writers are voracious readers. The more one reads, the better writer they become. We at Freadom believe that all great writers started out as major book lovers! The books they read determine their future and impact their writing style. Reading inspires the reader. To write well, there are only two things one absolutely must do: read and write. The rest will take its own course. If you want your child to write well, you must instil the will to read, and read well. As they read more they will learn to read with a writer’s eye. Your child may not have a dream of being a published writer, but it doesn't mean that being able to express themselves through writing is not crucial.
On that note, here are a couple of tips that can come handy:
1. Reproducing works of others
Great writers start small. The amount of time they put into their art is immense, they begin by duplicating or copying the work of their favourite authors. It is not plagiarism we are talking about. It is the writing style and the genre. Writers may read a book or two by an author that inspires them and would want to be able to write like them. To inspire writing in your young ones, get them books by authors they enjoy reading and let them copy their work. Let them write page after page until they finish the book. Once they finish, they will know more about the author’s writing style. Once they figure out the author’s writing style, encourage them to add modifications to the written work to explore their own writing style. The idea of copy work is to use their reading skills to make them a better writer.
2. Borrow Ideas
It often happens when we read a book, we might not like the ending or change a character. We always imagine alternative endings or what if the character did this instead of that. Children too have such vivid imagination when it comes to reading a story. Ask them what would they change about the story and then encourage them to write it down. Tell them that they have the freedom to flip the plot of the story or make an entirely new story with the same characters. Writing alternative plot lines for existing work will not only help them practice writing but also get their brain juices flowing!
3. Practice Specific Writing
Writing is just like cooking. There are techniques, the chopping, boiling, and frying to cooking up a storm (of words) that can help anyone produce a well-written piece. Get your child to practice writing good sentences. Pick a word from a book and ask them to write as many sentences they can think of. A flawless sentence is the most essential ingredient of good writing. Encourage them to read books with advanced vocabulary. This will allow them to absorb new words, choose flavoured words and avoid bland phrases when writing. Practice reading aloud so they can hear the correct pronunciations. Knowing the right pronunciation can help them experiment with their voice by adding drama to the written text that lingers in the readers’ minds.
Writing and reading are like yin and yang. To be a good writer, you HAVE to read a lot. As William Faulkner once said: "Read, read, read. Read everything - classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write." Every book your child reads teaches them something incredible. So, get your child reading to get them writing.