X Marks the Spot

treasure sWelcome to another weekly creative writing prompt/exercise. And we’re already at X – which set me thinking about treasure maps.

Children (and some adults!) love treasure hunts and the idea of finding a map which will lead them to hidden treasure.

So this week, I’m suggesting you have a go at writing a children’s story which involves treasure and a map showing where X marks the spot.

Corny? Yes, but what the heck! You could have some fun with this idea. Your story could have elements of the supernatural, fantasy and magic, with some mystery and suspense. Add pirates if you like, shipwrecks, buried gold and other treasures. Start thinking about who drew the map, where it was hidden, who found it, who is on a quest to locate the treasure, who is out to stop them.

You’ll need well-drawn characters, an interesting location, an adventure, and of course, an obstacle for your treasure hunters to overcome.

Writing for children can be quite tricky – even JK Rowling had trouble convincing publishers Harry Potter was a winner. It was the 13th attempt at publication for ‘Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone’ that began her writing career 25 years ago. Clearly Percy Verance had a guiding hand there!

If you’d like to know more about the mechanics of writing for children, head over to Irish writer Sarah Webb’s website where she’s lots of useful tips and information here.

We’re nearly at the end of our tour of the alphabet for weekly writing prompts, but please call back next week for the penultimate one, posted at 5pm (Dublin time) Wednesday. If you want to know more about why I’ve been doing this, click here.

Meanwhile, catch up on what I’ve been doing lately, here and buy signed copies of my poetry books here.