Creative writing: Starting it right
If you are thinking about the introduction or beginning of a composition when you read the title of this post, you are wrong.
Writing a composition begins from the point when you are reading the question. Only with understanding of the question requirements that we are on our way to success with the composition. With composition questions set in the new PSLE format in mind, here are some pointers on how to start your composition on the right foot:
1. Unpack the theme/topic.
If the topic is "A Mishap", what does the word "Mishap" mean? Or "Making a Difference", does it mean that something has changed? It will be helpful to make quick notes (Mishap --> unfortunate --> accident, OR difference --> no longer the same) on the topic so that you have a clear idea and will proceed to generate ideas that stay on topic.
2. Highlight the requirements of the question shown in the guiding questions.
Does the question ask for "you" to be a character in the story? (E.g. "What were you doing when the mishap took place?" vs "How did the mishap take place?" --> no character requirement)
3. Bearing the topic in mind, look at each picture and write down 3 to 5 words/ phrases about each picture.
These words or phrases (e.g. soup pot, boiling hot, burnt, unattended stove) serve two functions:
- It makes sure that the pupils are aware of what is provided to be used in the composition.
- It helps pupils to make a link between the topic and the pictures as they brainstorm.
4. Decide on the idea and circle the picture(s) that you will be using in your story.
(At least 1 picture needs to be used but if you would like to use more pictures and they are relevant to your your story, you may do so.) The first idea that comes to your head will probably be the first idea that goes into everyone's head. Explore the other ideas that you have come up with so that your story has an edge over what others are writing.
5. With an idea of your story in mind, do a check to see if you are indeed staying on topic by answering the guiding questions and writing down the main point beside it.
These 5 things should happen as you read your question and should take no longer than 3 minutes. Following this, a brief planning of your story should take place and you will be ready to put your great ideas into words!