I must admit, I consistently struggled with writing in school. The teacher would hand us a blank piece of paper and then tell the class to write. As I looked around the classroom, some of the students diligently went right to work and wrote page after page, while others were like me sat there with blank stares and used the class time to doodle and daydream. It wasn’t until I reached junior high that I finally had a teacher that took time to teach formula writing.
You’re probably asking yourself, what is formula writing or you’re thinking I can so relate. I was one of those students or have a child myself that will stare or fight when prompted to write. There are two distinctive styles of writers in this world - formula and creative. If you give a blank piece of paper to a creative writer they can write and write until told when to stop. What I discovered in that junior high classroom that day is that I wasn’t a creative writer. Rather, I needed a formula to write.
Formula writing is just what it sounds like, a logical step by step approach to writing. It’s structured and follows the same predetermined methodical route each time. Did you know the great writer Shakespeare was a formula play writer? Or that each of his plays is five acts? Act I is known as the Exposition, Act II is known as the Rising Action, Act III always reveals the climatic part of the play, Act IV is the falling action - also known as the aftermath of the climax, and lastly Act V wraps up the entire play.
You need to ask yourself, is my student just like I described above, not knowing what to write of even how to write? If you answered “yes”, then chances are your child is a formula writer just waiting to unlock the formula and learn how to write. Once they learn the formula they will gain more confidence with their burgeoning writing skills.