Creative Writing Success: The Best-Kept Secret of Composition

Creative writing success is the best-kept secret of good composition!

My homeschooling high schoolers were all good writers throughout high school because they were exposed to good skills that equipped them for creative writing success. The 4 that have graduated from college relied heavily on their excellent creative thinking for successful college-paper writing.

Creative writing success

Creative Writing Success

My teens, through lots of practice, learned to love two kinds of creative writing:

Poetry and Short Stories.

Through Poetry they learned how to put lovely words together meaningfully. They learned to write with hints of rhythm and pleasurable or amusing sounds. They then applied these to their essays and research papers.

A drab research paper might state:

Scientists believe that cats sleep an average of 15 hours per day.

A poet might phrase that same information:

The veterinarians at suggest that furry felines sleep an average of 15 hours per day.

Note in the second example there is alliteration (suggest/sleep, furry/felines) and richer vocabulary.

A creative writer who recently finished a unit on short story composition might be more prone to use a few narrative examples (examples that tell a story rather an example full of lists but no detail). This is good!

Unfortunately, often, homeschool parents are tricked into believing that only “serious” writing curriculum will help their students find success. The results can end up being essays and research papers that have great information but are plodding, pedantic.

Now this may be just fine for high school, but think about the competition for good grades at college level. A young TA is reading 200 papers for his professor. 200 long, boring papers. Then he happens upon your child’s paper. It is well-written, follows the rules, but has a spark of fun and marvelous word usage.

Guess which paper out of the two gets an A?

That’s how my teens have done it. In high school, LOTS of poetry and LOTS of short story writing. LOTS of creativity.

7Sisters has published the creative writing curriculum I’ve been using with my kids (and local homeschool co-ops and group classes) for years. Each guide has 5 weeks of lessons, 15 minutes per day. Created to be a self-directed curriculum beginning with TOTAL-novice level introductory guides, it is easy and contains NO busywork.

Start in middle school with Middle School Short Story Writing: Fairy Tale.


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Creative Writing Success

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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