Fiction Tips – Teach Fiction Writing to Home School Students – Part III

Childhood Dreams

If you are the parent of a home schooler who shows promise in writing fiction, this article series is designed for you. In Parts I and II, I explained how I knew from childhood that I wanted to be a writer and some of the problems and pitfalls I faced.

Because I journal I still have a copy of my journal from my senior year in high school. And in that journal, I wrote of my longing to write. And I still have a copy of a college English paper that echoed this longing. I find it so amazing that God can place these dreams within us at such a tender age.

The Writer’s Temperament

At the risk of making generalities that are broad and sweeping, I want to interject here that the temperament of a writer can be a little challenging. Realize that not only am I a writer, but I’ve been hanging around with these folks for many decades. I’ve spent years as a conference and workshop instructor/teacher. I taught for an international correspondence school for nine years carrying the biggest student load allowed. Add to that the fact that I founded the Tulsa Professionalism in Writing School and then served as its coordinator for fourteen years.

I said that to say this: writers for the most part are extremely sensitive. They wear their heart on their sleeve and are easily hurt and wounded. Since you are the parent this may seem like a bad thing. But if that child can be taught to embrace that sensitivity, it will serve him/her well. Think about it – it’s the sensitivity that allows the creativity to flow in the first place. It is the very soil in which the seeds are sown and in which they are allowed to grow.

The Need for Encouragement

When I was a sophomore in high school, I had an English teacher, Mr. Thomas, who suggested that I might have a degree of writing talent. He even went so far as to say he might help me to submit some of my work for possible publication. After that remark (written on one of my papers) he never said another word about it. And I was much too shy and introverted to approach the matter. In my little peabrain, I concluded: “Well, he’s changed his mind. He soon realized I really have no talent at all. I bet he wishes he hadn’t said anything at all.” And thus I was stymied for many long years. How sad.

There are so many ways to encourage your budding writer. And so many more resources to choose from these days. But the key is to understand the sensitivity. Of course you cannot allow it free reign in your household; but you can certainly recognize it and channel it!