Five Tips to Help Children Write a Masterpiece  

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Bestselling authors Nat Amoore and Tim Harris have teamed up to create Kids Writing Cool, a self-paced online creative writing course designed to get primary-aged children excited about writing.

‘We even make punctuation and paragraphs fun,’ says Nat. ‘I know it sounds hard to believe, but it’s true! They’ll be begging you for the next module.’

Tim and Nat have spent 18 months developing the Kids Writing Cool course that helps kids take their writing to the next level. Here are five tips to challenge young writers to create their own masterpiece.

Five Tips to Help Children Write a Masterpiece


1. The Importance of Characters

Characters are an essential driving force behind any story. When young people spend time thinking about their characters’ wants, it can spark direction in an entire piece of writing. Think about how short Lord of the Rings would be if Frodo didn’t agree to carry the burden of the ring. What if Charlie Bucket had no interest in confectionery. Or what if Harry Potter was determined to be an astronaut? As soon as a fire is lit beneath a character, they are forced to jump up and take action. Spending time planning what a character wants – and how they will get there – is a helpful way to create a driving force in a story.

2. The Role of Vocabulary

Reading (and being read to) plays a crucial role in the development of vocabulary. Students and teachers can pause and discuss why an author might choose to use a certain word in a certain place. In turn, learned vocabulary allows young writers to be more precise when conveying messages of their own.

Word banks, too, are essential when helping young people grasp new words and avoid unnecessary repetition in their own work. A classic example is the word ‘said’. A word bank might allow a young writer to experiment with the emotion in dialogue.

“I’ve eaten enough chocolate,” said Arthur.

“I’ve eaten enough chocolate,” groaned Arthur.

“I’ve eaten enough chocolate,” insisted Arthur.

The power of language is at play here because the second and third examples offer specific connotations.

On that note, Tim put together a video exploring just how important the word ‘said’ can be. You can check it out here – Is ‘Said’ Dead? – YouTube

3. Structure

Young writers can find planning pages helpful when putting together ideas for their stories. Kids Writing Cool aims to celebrate this by providing students with a number of options during this process.

But it’s not just the overarching structure that can unleash young writers. When students learn about the role of individual paragraphs and the rules that support them, they can be equipped to write with more purpose.

There is no rule that says how long a paragraph should be. If a young writer wishes to describe something in detail, they might experiment with longer, complex sentences. But shorter paragraphs also play a pivotal role when we are helping young people craft a masterpiece. These shorter paragraphs can create tension.


Short paragraphs can grab a reader by the shirt and pull them further into the story.

4. Dialogue

Dialogue can be tricky, and finding the right balance is essential. Young writers tend to either overuse dialogue or omit it completely. When dialogue is sprinkled into a narrative and surrounded by action or description, it can help fast-track key messages or information. Dialogue also has the power to teach us about characters. If a story is written in first-person viewpoint, dialogue can show us what other characters are thinking.

The use of paragraphs and punctuation is crucial when writing dialogue. Without supporting structures, dialogue can be incredibly confusing. When written well, it takes a young person’s writing to the next level, and it can help them create their own masterpiece.

5. Re-writing and Editing

Re-writing allows students to reflect on the structure and flow of their stories. It helps them sort out which parts are necessary, and which can be removed. This process is often met with resistance in the classroom; teachers certainly have their work cut out! However, when students can see the end result in their work and make comparisons to a first draft, it provides them with an ‘aha’ moment that will hold them in good stead for future writings.

Once a re-write is done, students can also edit their work for improvements. This might involve replacing words, changing punctuation, or rewriting a sentence. This is another necessary evil that can take a piece of writing to the next level.

Check out for the trailer for the course below.

Thank you for letting us into your classrooms and libraries. We are passionate about literature in schools, and we hope that Kids Writing Cool might become a favourite part of the weekly writing routine. We aimed to address the above five points with lots of practical examples (and plenty of humour) in Kids Writing Cool. We can’t wait to see you there!

Nat and Tim

Find out more about Kids Writing Cool here.

Join Nat and Tim for more writing exercises and general ridiculousness

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