Ideas are made to be shared. They can inspire, spread knowledge and send us on a journey through emotions only ever expressed through the written word. But ideas are nothing on their own. Visit the websites listed in this article to learn how to turn basic ideas into brilliant stories and then share them with the world.
The first step, of course, is to pinpoint that award-winning idea. Hopefully you have something rattling around in the back of your brain; an experience, joke or snippet of conversation on which to base your piece of writing. If, after you’ve picked your brain clean and your creative flow is still running dry, don’t worry; there are dedicated websites all over the internet designed to kick-start your imagination. tinyurl.com/y4mkz86 is the home of the ‘what-if Genie’. The ‘what-if Genie’ generates random what-if questions to base a story on, and if you don’t like the one you end up with, click the genie again to bring up a new question to inspire you.
Another website, created by Bruce van Patter, is The Story Kitchen (tinyurl.com/m4saxj).It asks you to pick a hero, setting and villain from a series of lists. It then turns them into a fictional story for you. But it’s not that easy; Bruce only provides you with the start of the story, and it’s up to you to create the perfect ending.
If you would rather create the entire story on your own, visit tinyurl.com/4bmsty9 to discover tricks and activities for coming up with your very own riveting ideas for a range of different story types, including movie scripts, poetry and comic books.
Once you have your idea ready to go, the next step is to plan it. Most stories have an introduction, a problem, and an ending which hopefully contains the solution to the problem. However, different types of writing go about this format in slightly different ways. tinyurl.com/4h65pgv provides templates for a variety of different fictional and non-fictional genres, with helpful advice on going about filling in the paragraphs with your ideas.
If you still need some advice on constructing your masterpiece, tinyurl.com/4t8v48k has tips on every aspect of a good story, ranging from structure and techniques to grammar and style. tinyurl.com/bqtbj has extremely detailed advice broken into 10 categories about what makes a good piece of writing. It explores critical aspects of fictional writing that are commonly overlooked, such as choosing the correct point of view to tell your story in and writing dialogue that not only fills in space, but gives extra meaning to your writing.
Everything nowadays is done over the internet and on the computer. This means that writing scribbled bits of text on lined refill paper is not going to cut it. If you want your writing to be taken seriously, you need to present it digitally, and this means learning how to type; and the faster and more accurately you type, the better. Luckily, the BBC has created an exciting game that teaches you the basics of typing at speed. It shows you which fingers go on which keys, and gives you practice words and phrases to work on before moving you up the levels until you turn into a typing pro. Visit tinyurl.com/45dbm5c to help yourself begin to ease up on the use of that convenient backspace key.
Once you are happy with your piece of writing and are confident in becoming the next J.K Rowling or A.A Milne, you may want to share your work with the world. kidswritethesite.com is a website designed specifically for kids to share their talents in writing and art. If you are aged between 4 and 12 you are eligible to submit to the online community to have others from all over the world reading your own work. If you’re looking for extra inspiration, you can also read writing submitted by other budding authors.
Older kids can use www.deviantart.com DeviantArt is a massive online community that is free to become a member of, and hosts millions of pieces of art and literature. On this website, not only can your work be read by other members; it can also be commented on, added to galleries and favourited by other members. If you really want to know what other people think of your work, and are not afraid of a bit of constructive criticism, this is the website for you.
It’s one thing to share your writing with the world, but it’s another to actually get something out of it yourself. There are plenty of online writing competitions for kids all over the internet, with rewards ranging from simple recognition to cash prizes. One competition that is easy to enter is tinyurl.com/5tg3pce This competition happens monthly and is open to anyone under 12 years old.
Whether it is for yourself or others, writing is the age-old favoured way of passing information and commentating on our lives. Keep honing in on your story-telling skills and who knows? One day you might be challenging me for this very job.