Amazing Kids! Magazine

16 Writing Things to try this 2016

By Salma Danuningrat, Writing Tips Editor


With 2016 around the corner, it’s a great opportunity to set new writing hopes and goals. This year, I challenge you to try new things – experiment with different styles, genres and characters. Step out of your comfort zone. Here are 20 writing related things to try this year:

  1. Write in second person point of view – Skip the traditional first person and third person views – try something new by writing in second person. In second person point of view, the narrator tells the story to another character using “you”; the story is being told through the addressee’s point of view.
  1. Alternate between perspectives – Books with multiple perspectives are becoming more popular, so why not try it this new year? Don’t restrict the telling to just your main character, have your supporting characters share their side of the story too.
  1. Write in a different time period – Setting a story in a different era is challenging and requires some research, but it will be worth it once you have a great story. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the time period – if you’re writing about 1960s southern United States, don’t do research on ancient Rome. The more you read about what you’re planning to write about, the better and more realistic it will be.
  1. Discover your style – If you haven’t already, discover and familiarize yourself with your writing style. Your writing style is your writing identity – one of a kind, so embrace it and write proudly.
  1. Start writing every day – Whether you’re just jotting down ideas or writing a single short story, practice writing every day to improve your writing and get your imagination running.
  1. Explore genres – This year, try writing at least one story with a different genre than what you usually write. Are you a fantasy writer? Try writing realistic fiction for a change. Do you usually write mysteries? Write a science fiction story. Going outside of your comfort zone once in awhile is a great way to boost your creativity – you might even discover things you never thought you could write about before.
  1. Observe more – People. Places. Things. Stand in a public place and observe everything around you. People who pass you – who really are they? Where are they going? What are their secrets, fears and dreams? Listen to conversations around you. Notice the details on buildings – What is the story behind the scratch on the door? Why are there chalk marks on the brick walls? Every detail has a story behind it and sometimes these details have a great impact on the story.
  1. Share your writing more – Don’t be scared to share your writing with others! Have people read your writing and ask them what you can improve on. You don’t always have to include their suggestions, but having somebody read what you’ve written from a different perspective can help you realize the mistakes or plot holes in your story.
  1. Get to know your characters – The more you know your characters, the better. Before writing, make sure you know your characters inside and out – their quirks, habits, hopes, fears, dreams. Every part of their personality is important to the story and their future development.
  1. Write for a cause – Whether you’re posting anti-bullying haikus around your school, or writing an essay about gender equality, you’ll be surprised about just how much writing can make a positive difference. Use your writing to support what you believe in most.
  1. Reread your past writing – Rereading your past writing is a great way to see how much you’ve improved. Take a day to scan through your entire writer’s notebook or writing folder on your computer. Take notice of how your writing style has changed and developed. How do you describe your characters and settings now compared to your past writing?
  1. Try writing fan fiction – Ever wonder what happens after a book ends? With fan fiction, you can decide. Fan fiction is writing based on a story written by somebody else. Write a continuation of your favorite book – what happens to the characters beyond the last page? What happens after “happily ever after”? (See our Comic Hub Column for some ideas.)
  1. A lot. – One of the best ways to improve your writing is to simply read. Compare your writing style to the author’s. How does the author describe an object as opposed to how you would describe the same object?
  1. Turn a real life situation into a starting scene – If you’re ever stuck on how to begin your story, take the most interesting thing that happened to you today – a conversation, a meet up, a scenario – and incorporate it into your beginning. If you saw something unusual on your way to school or caught up with an old friend, use that moment as your starting scene.
  1. Reach “The End” – With so many hurdles in our way during our writing process, sometimes we’re quick to give up and stop writing altogether. This year, make it your goal to finish at least one piece of writing. From brainstorming, to drafting, to revising to editing. Remember, every story deserves to be told and your characters deserve a finished story.
  1. Submit to Amazing Kids! – We’d love to read what you’ve written, so send us your writing! Check out our submission guidelines to learn more.