Archive for Writing Tip of the Week

Writing Tip of the Week – Derek Landy

This week’s writing tip comes from Derek Landy, creator of Skulduggery Pleasant, Valkyrie Cain, and many other unpleasant characters.  We asked Derek if he could give one piece of advice to budding writers what would it be?

“You have to have fun. When I wrote the first Skulduggery book I didn’t have a clue whether or not it would be published or if anybody would like it, so I concentrated on having fun.  I packed it full of things that I adore; fight scenes, jokes, horror, adventure, magic. Fun is contagious and if you have fun writing it, the reader will have fun reading it. “

Visit Derek Landy’s website for more information about the author and his books, and to test your knowledge of the Skulduggery books.

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Writing Tip of the Week – Eoin Colfer

This week’s writing tip comes from Eoin Colfer, the creator of Artemis Fowl, Holly Short, Foaly and LEPrecon.

“Practise – write every day even if it’s only for ten minutes. Remember, nothing is wasted. Eventually your style will emerge. Persevere!”

Check out Eoin Colfer’s cool website where you can find out more about the characters, watch videos and play games.  Get your hands on a copy of Eoin Colfer’s latest book, Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex, from your library now.

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Writing Tip of the Week – Joy Cowley

This week’s writing tip comes from one of New Zealand’s best-loved authors, Joy Cowley.  Joy has written some fantastic books over the years, including Bow Down Shadrach, Hunter, Greedy Cat, and Snake and Lizard.  In this writing tip, Joy talks about writing the end of a story.

“A story is a bit like a running race. It takes us a while to warm up but once we get going, we don’t always stop at the finishing tape, but run on. The right ending for any story is usually soon after the problem gets solved. If you don’t know where or how to end your story, stop and look back a few sentences. Chances are you’ll find the correct ending already written.”

Come and meet Joy Cowley at the Christchurch Town Hall this Sunday at the Storylines Free Family Day.  You could hear her read some of her books, talk about writing, and even get one of her books signed.

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Writing Tip of the Week – Margaret Mahy

Our writing tip this week is once again from Margaret Mahy, who will be at the Storylines Free Family Day next Sunday, 15 August at the Christchurch Town Hall.   Come along and listen to Margaret talk about her writing and read some of her books.

“I think writers ought to read a lot, and it is often good to be working on more one story. If your first story does not work out it is comforting to have another story to fall back on. Most writers have to work hard – to write and re-write their stories.”

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Writing Tip of the Week – Margaret Mahy

This week’s writing tip comes from one of New Zealand’s greatest writers, Margaret Mahy, who will be appearing at the Storylines Free Family Day in Christchurch on Sunday 15 August.  Margaret Mahy has written so many books that it’s impossible to name them all.  She writes picture books, like Down the Back of the Chair, as well as novels, like Kaitangata Twitch, Maddigan’s Fantasia, Memory, and Portable Ghosts.   We’ll be posting some other great writing tips from Margaret Mahy over the next couple of weeks in the lead-up to Storylines.  This week, she talks about the story ideas that come to her.

“My ideas mostly come from things that happen to me, but of course they are changed a great deal by the time the story is finished. The ideas begin with real things but I invent all sorts of things to add to them, or I change them in some way before the story is finished.”

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Writing Tip of the Week – Joseph Delaney

This week’s writing tip comes from Joseph Delaney, author of the spine-tingling Spook’s Apprentice and other books in the Wardstone Chronicles including his latest book, The Spook’s Nightmare.  Joseph tells us the inspirations for his books and where ideas come from.

The ideas for my books come from nightmares, dreams and day-dreams which I always jot down lest I forget them. Sometimes I’m inspired by the things that people say or do or a piece of town or countryside I see whilst out walking. I do more ‘writing’ in my head than I ever do on paper or type into my computer.

Check out Joseph Delaney’s creepy Spooks website to find out more about the author and his books.

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Writing Tip of the Week – Cressida Cowell

This week’s writing tip comes from Cressida Cowell, creator of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, star of How to Train Your Dragon, How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse, and How to be a Pirate.  Cressida talks about how she comes up with all the funny names in the Hiccup books:

“I love playing games with words. I try to make the names sound like the person they are describing. ‘Snotlout’ is called Snotlout because he has a large nose, and ‘snotty’ can also mean ‘superior and thinking you’re a bit above everybody else’. A ‘lout’ is a brutish, brainless sort of person.
I make up the Dragonese in the same way. Therefore a ‘bird’ in Dragonese is a ‘song-munch’, because they sing and the dragons regard them as food.”

Go to Cressida Cowell’s website to find out more about the author and her writing.

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Writing Tip of the Week – James Patterson

This week’s writing tip comes from James Patterson, author of the Maximum Ride, Daniel X, and Witch and Wizard series.

“One thing that you can practice is watching and listening a lot and then writing your impressions down. If you’re riding on a bus, or walking to the mall, or stuck waiting in line somewhere, watch and listen, and think about how you’d set what’s happening down in words. (Those of you with iPods might try turning down the volume when you’re doing this.)”

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Writing Tip of the Week – Carole Wilkinson

This week’s writing tip comes from Carole Wilkinson, author of the Dragon Keeper series, and the Ramose series about Ancient Egypt.

“Don’t think you have to write a novel first off. And never try to make a story longer once you have got to the end. There is no set length for a story. A story can be six lines long or it might be 600 pages. A story is as long as it takes to tell.”

Visit Carole Wilkinson’s website for more information about the author and her writing.

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Writing Tip of the Week – Cathy Cassidy

This week’s writing tip comes from Cathy Cassidy, author of Scarlett, Indigo Blue, Sundae Girl and Ginger Snaps.  Here are some of Cathy’s tips on where you can get inspiration for your writing:

Where can you get inspiration?
Daydream…
Use your memories as a resource
Think about the theme and look for unusual starting points
Look at the people around you…
Read, watch tv/films…
Be inspired by old/new photos or paintings…
Talk to friends/family…
Draw a flowchart of ideas
Ask ‘what if’ questions to create a plot
Build a character around a name…
Draw your imaginary character…
Brainstorm and profile their likes/dislikes/appearance…

Go to Cathy Cassidy’s website for more writing tips, information about Cathy and her books.

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Writing Tip of the Week – Michael Morpurgo

This week’s writing tip comes from one of my favourite author’s, Michael Morpurgo, the author of Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Running Wild and Kaspar, Prince of Cats.  For something different, here is a video of Michael Morpurgo giving his own writing tips.

Visit Michael Morpurgo’s website for more information about him and his books.

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Writing Tip of the Week – Louis Sachar

This week’s writing tip comes from Louis Sachar, the author of Holes, There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom, the Wayside School series, and his new book The Cardturner.

I start really knowing the story, rewriting it to make it better, that it turns into something.”not untilto show them to anyone.  It’s  “The best advice I can give is what kids don’t like hearing, and that is you need to rewrite.  I understand; I used to hate rewriting when I was your age.  But my first drafts are absolutely awful.  I would be embarrassed

 

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Writing Tip of the Week – Rick Riordan

This week’s writing tip comes from Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series and his brand new series, The Kane Chronicles about Egyptian gods in the modern-day.

“Read a lot! Read everything you can get your hands on. You will learn the craft of writing by immersing yourself in the voices, styles, and structures of writers who have gone before you.

Write every day! Keep a journal. Jot down interesting stories you heard. Write descriptions of people you see. It doesn’t really matter what you write, but you must keep up practice. Writing is like a sport — you only get better if you practice.”

Visit Rick Riordan’s website for more writing tips, information about the author and his books.

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Writing Tip of the Week – Patrick Ness

This week’s writing tip comes from Patrick Ness, author of the amazing Chaos Walking Trilogy.  If you’re a really good reader and you like fast-paced, thrilling, futuristic books, check out the first book in the trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go.

“If you have a good idea, wait – ideas always attract other ideas.  No matter what age you are, you are never too young to have ideas.”

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Writing Tip of the Week – Jacqueline Wilson

This week we have 3 writing tips for the price of 1 from the marvelous Jacqueline Wilson, author of Candyfloss, Girls in Love, Jacky Daydream and many, many more.

” Persist in your dreams. “My mum and dad didn’t believe I could make a living out of being a writer. But I kept on trying,” said Jacqueline.

Don’t be scared to use your imagination.

When creating a character it is all about getting that character to do what will make sense and show what kind of person they are. That means much more than the name you give them.”

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Writing Tip of the Week

This week’s writing tip comes from illustrator Gus Gordon, who created a cool picture book called Wendy about a stunt-driving chicken.  He’s also illustrated lots of other picture books and some Aussie Bites.

“Spend lots of time looking out the window daydreaming and imagining weird things happening.”

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Writing Tip of the Week – J.K. Rowling

This week’s writing tip comes from the creator of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling. “The best way to learn about style, characterisation and plot is to read as much as you possibly can. You will probably find that you start to imitate your favourite authors, but this is a good learning process and your own style will come eventually.”

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