• Natalie Chama

How to write as good as J K Rowling








This might startle your child, and they might think it is simply impossible to write as good as the prolific writer, J K Rowling.


But you have to remind them that everyone has to start somewhere, and once upon a time, J K Rowling herself may have doubted her writing abilities from time to time.

A single mother from a council estate to one of the best-selling children's authors of all time, J K Rowling must have used a particular method to help her sharpen her writing skills and become an exceptional storyteller.


Great Lessons in Writing from J K Rowling

Throughout her writing career, she has gone through ups and downs. Therefore, her writing success came with discipline and some key simple steps that your child can also utilise at home.

Your child may not want to be the next J K Rowling, but these steps can help your child build the perseverance that is needed to be a better writer.



1) Write Whenever You Have Time

Even if you have only 5 minutes to write, use your time wisely and take the time to write. Life will always be demanding so taking baby steps is more important than staying stagnant.



2) Plot Out Your Stories Ahead Of Time

If your child is an aspiring writer, sometimes they might lack patience and want to jump into the gory action of a story.

It is okay to jump into the heightened activity in the opening of the story, but it is always important to plot out your ideas for stories before you decide which approach you would take in the direction of a story.

Rowling believes it is important to take your time with your story and plot out every bit of the world that would take place in your story, before you get to the narration.




3) Don't Trust Your First Draft As A Final Draft

This point is also for the aspiring writers you would not have time to do this in an exam. But this is great for your child if they just love writing stories.

Rowling wrote the first chapter of Harry Potter over 15 times before she made a final draft.

Therefore, your child should aim to make each draft better than the last one.



4) Keep Track Of Your Plot And Pacing

Pacing your stories mean to go back and try to not reveal too many details too quickly to the readers.

The aim is to get your readers to invest in the characters, so if you reveal too many things in the opening of the story, they will lose interest and would not want to read anymore.

Even Rowling had to go back to her first Harry Potter book to make sure she paced the character's subplots and the story properly, so the readers are finding out information at the same time as the characters.


5) Be Passionate About What You Write About

The bottom line is if your child does not like what they have written, this will resonate with readers and they will not engage in the story.



6) Stop The Adverbs

In an interview, Rowling said she wished she went back in her books and removed the adverbs because she thinks that adverbs make lazy writers.

I understand to an extent, as if a writer uses this excessively through their story then this can make the writing not as imaginative as it should be.

Therefore, I don't think it is a problem to use it. but for Rowling, it's a BIG NO NO!


7) Make Every Chapter A Cliffhanger

As I said before, readers need to be hooked or invested in any story.

So there needs to be some sort of suspense and a build-up for the readers to want to know what is going to happen next.

It doesn't always need to be life or death, it can be a transition in a character, a relationship, or a particular world.



8) Make Characters Seem Real In Real Life

The best characters in stories are always the ones where the reader develops an emotional connection where they get to know them as a person and they understand their purpose.

When they seem, the readers feel that they can escape and indulge in the story.

Therefore, if your child wants to strive to be the next J K Rowling, or just want to practice good writing habits. Try these tips and this can help them become a better writer.



Top quick writing reminders for your child

- Plan, Plan, Plan

I cannot distress why it is so important for your child to plan before they write. There are many different ways to do this.

- Bullet point form - Separate their story into note form and write a few words of what will take place in each paragraph (categories your bullet points in groups E.g Paragraph 1, 2, 3, and 4)

- Mind map around an image - If your child gets an image to help them get an idea of what to write for their story and annotate around the image. Describe the image by using sensory language E.g what they can see, hear, feel, taste, etc).

Check out my other blog post on how to plan an engaging plot for your child's story: https://www.chamatuition.com/post/how-to-create-an-engaging-story

- Continue to write through challenging times

Sometimes it is best to push through the times when your child wants to give up. As you may know, when you push through that challenging point, you get into your groove, next thing you know, you can't stop writing.

- Write what you know and what interests you

Sometimes it is hard to do this when your child has to write a story about a specific image that has been given to them in their class or an exam.

But if the exam just offers an image and not any other specific criteria (when it comes to the content of the story) then your child can be more in control of the direction of the story.

- A good writer is also a good reader

This goes hand in hand, your child needs to read consistently so they can write more fluently. Reading can help them to identify vocabulary, their overall SPaG, and the plot sequences that are recommended in every engaging story.

- Be disciplined

Teach your child to stick to a particular time duration when writing, and not to stop before that time. Whether it is 20mins to 45mins, it is a good practice, especially for exam practice.

- Don't be afraid to make mistakes

There are so many students I have encountered that are afraid to just try and make mistakes in their writing and I talk about this in my first blog post and the different types of learners I have encountered over the years.

Click on the link to access my blog post: https://www.chamatuition.com/post/why-is-your-child-afraid-of-literacy

To conclude, always remind your child - J K Rowling's great lessons in writing :




1) Write Whenever You Have Time

2) Plot Out Your Stories Ahead Of Time

3) Don't Trust Your First Draft As A Final Draft

4) Keep Track Of Your Plot And Pacing

5) Be Passionate About What You Write About

6) Stop The Adverbs

7) Make Every Chapter A Cliffhanger

8) Make Characters Seem Real In Real Life

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