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Creative Writing Tips

Creative writing is a vital component in the 11+ exams with its intention of stimulating students to incorporate their outlook when discussing multitudes of topics in an imaginative approach. Hence, mastery of this skill is imperative to succeed in the exams comprehensively. In future years of secondary school, exploitation of one’s creative writing forte is deemed to be very fruitful.

Many students struggle with different aspects of creative writing, such as lack of thought, unclear descriptions embedded in the writing, and inability to express their viewpoints more elaborately. With time continuously ticking, it can be quite strenuous for examinees to present a good piece of writing that qualifies all the checkpoints the examiners are looking for.

When analysing students' writings, the marker will consider several modules, which vary depending on the stimulus provided in the exam. In all scenarios, they are reviewing the originality of the oeuvre produced and in addition to that, the variety of punctuation which is incorporated (often excluding the basic commas and full stops). The structure of the piece is also a crucial factor when marking, as it dictates the flow and evokes the emotion that the composition is offering, and this can be achieved when a sentence is framed such that it is divergent from the preceding lines. Moreover, clarity and a rich description of an idea can ensure top marks in the section because if an amazing, original thought is not executed and written properly, there is a chance of marks being lowered substantially.

To ensure that students develop proficiency in Creative writing, here are a few tips:

·  When reading books with high levels of description that have been incorporated successfully, write a phrase or a sentence of that paragraph that you really like and one which appeals to and stands out to you in a notebook designated only for English Creative Writing examples.

For example:

“Nights swimming in moonlight or pulsating with stars”-Anne’s House of Dreams (Book 5 in the Anne of the Green Gable series)

·Write down any new word that you have come across, along with its definitions and examples, in a sentence in a separate section of the notebook.

For example:

Lexicon (noun):

The vocabulary of a person, language, or branch of knowledge

“The size of the English lexicon"

·       In the exam, when a topic has been given which does not specify what perspective to write in, try to twist the topic and approach from another viewpoint that has not been considered.

For example:

If the exam board has asked you to write a diary entry about the war, instead of writing it from the perspective of a soldier, you can approach this topic from the viewpoint of a wife who stayed at home and felt devasted that her husband left and explore her emotions and outlook.

  • When in a situation where originality is not stemming easily, make sure to pay extra emphasis on the richness of the description, varied structure, and punctuation to ensure that top marks can still be achieved.

  • ·Take inspiration from things around you, for instance, an article you have read and found interesting, and manipulate it to form an interesting concept that is original but still revolves around that central theme you wish to explore in your writing.

For example:

Personal Inspiration: Greek mythology (Odysseus’s tale)

The style that the exam board has specified: Diary Entry

Idea: Diary entry from the perspective of his child- who he left behind when he went to war. Show the child’s personality and explore his feelings, but show something unique about him {which doesn’t necessarily have to be true} to truly immerse the reader into the writing(for example, he misses his father so much that he starts to have visions related to his dad, such as what happens to his dad in the future)

  • Always remember: Quality over quantity- do not try to fill as many pages as possible in the exam as, in the end, the examiners will not give you marks based on the amount you have written. If the quality of the writing decreases; however, you have written a lot, marks will be deducted substantially.

  • If you are struggling to think of a concrete idea, write small notes on the side of the paper with a pencil, which is just a small reminder of what you are going to write. However, these must be brief and concise and should take a maximum of two minutes.

Good luck with the 11+ exams! Hope you found this short guidance report useful!

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