Creative Writing Ideas: How to Write
a Story that Kids & Teens Want to Read

Looking for creative writing ideas to help you write for kids and teens? Trends come and go, and reading tastes change as a child grows. Certain qualities, however, are timeless; in this page you will find story writing ideas on how to write a book that always appeals to kids and teens.

Creative Writing Ideas #1: Stories Must be Action-Packed and Fast-Paced

Capture your reader's attention right from the start. A good way is to open in the middle of an action-packed scene or intriguing dialogue.

Once you have your readers hooked, sustain their interest throughout your story with fast-paced action and lots of suspense. End with an exciting climax and a satisfying conclusion.

Write in the active voice, and use plenty of action verbs. Your story must zip along, so cut out all unnecessary description; it's quicker and better to leave details to the reader's imagination.

For more ideas on how to captivate readers, visit Creative Story Writing Tips: Conflicts, Cliffhangers and Climaxes

Creative Writing Ideas #2: Keep Your Paragraphs Short

This is especially important for the first few pages of your book. Short paragraphs give your pages more white space, thereby making them visually attractive - and readers get the impression that your book is easy to read!

Creative Writing Ideas #3: Readers Want to Identify with Your Story Characters

A reader at the start of a story looks for a character to identify with; so, introduce your heroes and/or heroines within the first few paragraphs of your story.

Give your protagonists strong, attractive personalities so that readers will warm to them and want to root for them. They must display strength of character and be able to overcome obstacles on their own; so long as it's realistic, let the child or teen characters solve problems by themselves. Keep adults in the background.

Most kids and teens prefer protagonists of their own sex, but are at the same time interested in the opposite sex; so do include main characters of both sexes in your stories.

Readers also like their heroes and heroines to be the same age as themselves or slightly older. Bear this in mind when selecting your target audience: if you're writing for more than one age group, include several main characters of different ages.

Creative Writing Ideas #4: Readers Love Original Plots and Funny Stories

Kids and teens get bored when stories are too predictable. They like original plots that keep them guessing from page to page, and they love a surprise ending.

Readers also enjoy humor: practical jokes played or jokes told by characters in the story; also puns and slapstick comedy. Older teens prefer witticisms, irony and other more subtle forms of humor.



Creative Writing Ideas #5: Readers Must Feel It's Happening Right Now

Children and young teens live only in the present; they are not bothered by the past or the future. So they must feel as if your story is happening right before their very eyes. For this reason, it's often easier to give your story a present-day setting, or to set it in a future or fantasy world.

Historical novels are fine for older teens; but if you're writing one for younger readers, you'll need much skill to make long-ago events and customs come alive for the child.

Some writers like to use flashbacks in their stories: for example, a character recalling an incident from the past. Teens usually have no problems with this but it may be confusing for younger readers, who may find it difficult to get the story's timeline sorted out in their minds.

Creative Writing Ideas #6: Bring Your Story to a Satisfying Close

Give your story a happy ending if you're writing for children. Teenagers can take sad endings on occasion but, even then, end on at least a hopeful or inspiring note.

The good guys must win in the end; this is especially important for kids. Young readers have a strong innate sense of justice, so your ending must feel right.

For teens, end with a satisfying conclusion, a resolution of at least the major conflicts.

Creative Writing Ideas #7: Remember the Adult Purchaser Too

While kids and teens are your target audience, often it's the adults in their lives - parents, relatives and librarians - who buy your books.

So, what would appeal to an adult purchaser of children's books?

Ask yourself: what would I look for in a book I am buying for my own kids or for a young friend?

Obviously, you want the recipient to like the story; you also want the reader to gain something from it, whether it's to learn something new, empathize with others, or imbibe certain values you hold dear.

So, write the kind of book you yourself would buy for kids or teens.


For more ideas on how to write for kids and teens, visit Creative Writing Ideas: Hot Favorites for Kids and Cool Stories for Pre-Teens and Teens and How to Write a Book of Inspirational Stories for Children

For a step-by-step guide to successful story writing, visit How to Write a Book: Creative Story Writing Tips that Work!

Return from Creative Writing Ideas to Creative Writing: Write to Win Hearts.


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