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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:06 pm
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Hi, does anyone have any suggestions to improve creative writing techniques.
DD has exam in January and will be expected to write unaided for 40mins or so from a selection of given titles she can chose from.
Although she has done plenty of practice in the last few months and reads regularly, she is still getting 'writers block' and it's getting a little late in the day now.
Any suggestions would be gratefully recieved! :?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
I've sent you a pm


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:17 am 
When I did my GCSE English many moons ago I had 6 pieces of writing prepared on topics that were likely to come up in the exam. Your daughter could do the same now and if she gets a similar question in the exam then she will not have to spend ages thinking of a story. There are no guarantees that a similar question will come up but there are usually only a handful of topics that a child is asked to write about:

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Write a scary story.
What is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to you? etc...

When DS sat his Westminster exam he was asked to write two paragraphs to finish of the story that he had been given so you could try doing this with her too. I always think putting in difficult vocabulary and good description is always an easy way to make a story look better even if the plot is basic.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:47 am 
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.....and try to get her to include all the necessary grammer thay have been learning in class - good use of speach marks, pop in a simile now and then, a great descriptive part.

The time they are given is quite short and so the more hints and tips to prepare her you can give the better. With my DS we we did prepare for a few titles that may have popped up - it worked with one school entrance exam, but not the other two....but he still passed all exams and he said the knowledge of having a good story on standby made him not so nervous. BUT remember to make sure your DD can adapt if the title she was expecting does not come up - my DS was able to transpose elements to the titles that were not what he wanted, and that included the one where he had to finish the story.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:14 pm
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Location: essex
When my daughter did her creative writing pieces for her Sats we used to plan one really sophisticated phrase to try and include in the story. Her school did practice tests for weeks if not months and she never managed to put a single one in.

On the morning of the actual test we decided on " A woman of Amazonian proportions ". When I picked her up she was beaming, she had managed to include the phrase.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:00 pm
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Location: Wales
Hi blue

When DS sat Indie entrance exams which included a creative writing element we prepared him in a similar way to suggestions here and it worked well. It gave him confidence that whatever the title he would have something there to call upon.

I agree with Tipsy in that really whatever the title it always boils down to a handful of similar themes:

- being lost / scared / alone
- doing something exciting / achieving something ('the best day of my life was . . . ')
- animals
- having a holiday / adventure
- being in a city / countryside

We helped DS come up with phrases / paragraphs that would fit in anywhere irrespective of plot along the lines of:

- linking mood to weather (tears like the rain / waterfalls. Eyes bruised like the clouds. Heart beating as raindrops thundered. Eyes twinkling like dew on fresh grass)

- descriptions of surroundings (sweet, cloying scent, patchwork of autumn leaves - vibrant reds, ochres etc. Shafts of sunshine dappling. Trees whispering to each other. Angry water seething and boiling.

- descriptions of being frightened (being chased, hiding and anticipating being found.

We also drummed in that if DS was running out of time he was NOT to write "and then I woke up and it was all a dream" LOL Prepare some emergency endings in advance.

Hope this helps, good luck!!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:11 pm 
I now feel very guilty as I did not do anything with DS before he sat his exams. :oops:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:00 pm
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Location: Wales
Don't feel guilty! You didn't because you probably trusted that he didn't need it!

My DS is bright but not super bright - as you know, sport is his thing! I prepared him with the standard practice papers the schools send out and started only weeks before the exam. He had never seen a VR or NVR paper before in his life and the standard of the maths paper was much much higher than he had been used to in his state primary.

Preparing for his English was something we could do as an emergency way of boosting marks. He is strong in creative writing anyway and so I wanted the schools to see that rather than him suffer writers block. It was a way of giving him some breathing space in a day packed with unfamiliar, difficult exams.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:25 pm 
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Well Tipsy, some DCs don't need to be prepped as the school often does that.

I found (quite last minute) that DS hardly ever did creative writing in his state primary - mostly report, factual, instruction pieces - so this was the area we felt needed the most work. We only practiced for the 3 weeks leading up to the exam (his comprehension I would say was up to scratch) but we really did have to teach him structure and stating that his piece of writing had to stand out from the rest - it really needed to capture the markers imagination.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:06 pm 
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Location: East Kent
DEFINITELY not it was all a dream!!!

Another popular theme is finding something, like a ring, treasure chest, very old key etc....


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