Let’s Write Something Spooky!
Do your kids love to create? From stories to artwork to any kind of craft you can imagine; you want to do everything you can to foster creativity with your kids. One of the most important ways you can foster and encourage them is through regular, active writing.
Why writing? Well, it’s not just because Lulu Junior is a book-making company!
Okay, we are all very passionate about books and writing. So we’re a little biased. But the benefits of writing for children are well-documented and often discussed in education environments. And with the fall season creeping up on us, I wanted to take today to inspire some fun Halloween writing activities!
Why Kids Need To Write
Think about how much you write. Emails. Text messages. Google searches. Grocery lists. Reports for work. Instagram and Facebook posts. You write multiple times, for multiple reasons, throughout your day.
We write A LOT.
We know that writing daily as adults has numerous benefits. This means giving your kids those writing skills now will help them (literally) for the rest of their lives!
Okay, enough of that. Let’s get on to writing some Halloween stories!
Share Your Scare
Did you know that Lulu runs an annual Halloween writing contest? It’s true! Each year we accept entries from anyone and include our favorites in an anthology. You can check out some of the past anthologies (including free ebook versions) on the Lulu Bookstore.
These short and fun Halloween stories are great inspiration for your kids. Maybe they’ll be inspired enough to write their own short story and submit it to the contest!
Writing Something Spooky
Any writing exercise is great. And we’ve got tons of writing prompts for your kids. But for Halloween, we need a different kind of story. It’s got to be a little creepy, a little weird, maybe even a little scary.
So let’s cover a few basics for helping your kids write their own spooky stories. Then we’ll end with some writing prompts to get them started!
Pay Attention To Location
Kids love to write dialog and action. But a lot of what makes a story scary is the setting. Here’s a simple example:
- Harry and Terry ran in terror from the werewolf they discovered in the cemetery.
- Creeping through the cemetery, Harry and Terry wiped away cobwebs to reveal a werewolf lurking in the dark.
It’s a small difference, but the second sentence emphasizes the world (cemetery, cobwebs, dark) while the first action (ran, terror, discovered). Place is where the creepy and spooky happens.
Help your kids by asking them questions as they imagine scenes for their story.
- Where are they when that happens?
- What time of day is it?
- What are they wearing?
Keep It Simple
The best short stories are focused. Have your kids try to describe their story in one sentence (with minimal running on). That sentence makes a terrific guide for the story.
- Three kids discover a ghost while camping and help it escape a ghost trap
That’s a simple story that your kids could write in a page or two.
- Three kids are camping on a river and catch a fish who turns out to be a ghost and while they’re running from the ghost they have to dodge a werewolf too and make it home before dinner
That outline might be fun, but it’s really three separate stories. Which is awesome! Your kids will be brimming with ideas. Help them separate the different ideas into individual stories. It’ll be easier to finish a story if it’s simple and they’ll have those other ideas for their next masterpiece!
Mystery And Monsters
Finally, Halloween stories almost always include either a mystery or a monster. Monsters might be a little easier, but a good mystery is a lot of fun.
You’ll want to help your kids think about their monster or mystery. For a monster, a drawing is a great idea. A quick timeline might help with a mystery. Encourage them to use these common ways to visualize and organize a story; they’ll learn young and be writing like authors in no time!
BOOO! Let’s Write Something Spooky!
It’s almost fall and Halloween is right around the corner. So let’s put those writing tips to use with one of these spooky story prompts:
- A ghost appears in the campfire with a warning! What is it?
- You get an old locket. What happens when you open it?
- Create a story with s’mores, bats, and a curse.
- When you finish carving a jack-o-lantern it comes to life!
- End your story with this line: “And that’s how we escaped the haunted forest.”
- Start your story with this line: “The moon laughed at us.”
- A ghost only you can see shouts “Boo!” whenever you enter a room.
- You meet a witch in the woods who curses you.
Encourage your kids to keep writing. Prompts and practice is the best way, but you can find lots of fun ways to write too. Contests like Share Your Scare are great motivators. Or you could get your kids an IlluStory or My Comic Book kit to help them publish their story!