Posts tagged writing tip

Trick and Treat

Hello from Monterey, California! I’m writing to you from yesterday. Christchurch is twenty hours ahead of Monterey, so you’ve reached November before me. How is it so far? I am thrilled to be on a virtual visit to New Zealand this month as your November Star Author.

Since it is Halloween in California, I’ll begin with a writing trick and a reading treat.

Do you ever have trouble getting started writing? Maybe it’s an essay for school and you just can’t come up with the first line, or a story that is fantastic in your imagination, but you can’t seem to get it onto the page. Getting started is my number one writing challenge.

The next time you’re stuck, try the timer trick:

Grab the kitchen timer. Get paper and pen or open a new document on your computer.

Ready? Now set the timer for 15 minutes and press start. Write as fast as you can, without stopping, without erasing, until that timer buzzes.

Don’t worry about spelling. Don’t worry about getting the facts right. Perfection is not the goal. This is a draft. Just write. You’ll be surprised what tumbles out of your head and onto the page. If 15 minutes feels daunting, start with 5.

Look for more writing tips this month, as well as the story of where my stories come from, and maybe even a word game or two.

For now I’ll leave with you with a treat. The sweetest reading treat of all: a poem.

Like Christchurch, Monterey is bordered by hills and the Pacific Ocean. Fog hovers out my morning window as I write, so here is a fog poem by Carl Sandburg:

The fog comes
on little cat feet
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.


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Writing Tip of the Week – Jackie French

This week’s writing tip comes from Jackie French, author of Diary of a Wombat, Hitler’s Daughter, A Rose for the ANZAC Boys, and Oracle.

“I think the most important thing about writing is having confidence – because if you think you can write well you write in your own voice, not copying ideas and expressions and characters from other people.”


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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 – 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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