Writing Exercises for Kids of All Ages
Mary Pauline Lowry
Our friend Mary Pauline Lowry’s book The Roxy Letters was released this Tuesday! This hilarious book grew out of a writing exercise she shared with her creative writing students, and she’s sharing it here for the young writer in your life (or you!)
Hi, I’m Mary Pauline Lowry and I’m a former teaching writer at Seven Oaks Elementary School in Eagle. I’m also the author of the novel The Roxy Letters, which is a funny book for adults.
Today I am here to share two writing exercises with you that are hopefully going to be fun. First, get a piece of paper and label it 1-10. Then write down ten characteristics or qualities of your strangest quirkiest friend, now this can be someone you know in real life or a character that you’re just making up in your imagination. For my list I might write:
- My friend spent a whole summer learning how to roller skate backwards.
- Everyday she eats a cheese and pickle sandwich for lunch with her next door neighbor Tom.
- She has 3 wiener dogs.
So right now pause the video and once you’ve written your list of ten characteristics or qualities of your strangest quirkiest friend then go ahead and press play again.
Welcome back, now I’d like you to think about that character or friend that you’ve been writing about and write a letter from them to someone else that your character is angry with, have them describe exactly why they are angry in the letter. Try to really write in the voice that you think this character has or should have. What that may look like is using different phrases and expressions that they would normally use, try to write from their point of view rather than your own. It can be difficult but try to create an image of your character and imagine how they would talk or react to things differently than you would.
Go ahead and get to work on that letter.
“I’d highly recommend When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald. It’s a big-hearted, very funny, tender novel narrated by Zelda, a 21-year old viking enthusiast who has fetal alcohol syndrome and is determined to live out a quest and become a hero. Despite her challenges, Zelda manages to bring joy to everyone who encounters her (including me!) When We Were Vikings is delightful and uplifting!”
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Mary Pauline Lowry is the author of the novel The Roxy Letters, published by Simon & Schuster in April 2020. She has an MA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Texas and an MFA in Creative Writing from Boise State University. She’s also the author of the novel Wildfire and is a regular contributor to O Magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Millions, and other publications.