The story: This book, of course, follows the same characters from To kill a mockingbird, published in 1960. This time, the setting is the same in Maycomb, Alabama but twenty-six year-old Jean-Louise Finch is no longer called Scout and she is merely visiting her father, Atticus, from New York City. [Read more…]
The story: Quinn is a farm boy with a remarkable visual memory, a gift he keeps hidden. He is chosen to sail on board the ship Libertas in a race to map the end of the world – the king of Verdania’s idea – but he doesn’t want to go. He’d rather stay with his family on their farm, but his family need the money he would earn. Onboard with Zain, (the king’s slave and ship captain), his friend Ash, (the stowaway, a girl disguised as a boy) and the rest of the crew, he works as the mapmaker. On their journey, they encounter fights, a benevolent sea monster and competition from the other two boats, racing to find the end of the world. [Read more…]
There is a difference between writing and editing. Writing can be creative and messy and free-flowing. Editing needs to be logical and considered and thoughtful. It’s like switching on a different part of your brain! I hope these ideas help your children to improve their writing. These ideas are written directly to primary school children. [Read more…]
- Rewritten two short stories for adults (retelling fairy tales) and sent them into two short story competitions – fingers crossed!
- Attended three events at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival:
- Creativity and motherhood with Rachel Power and Jessica Rowe, hosted by Tracee Hutchinson
- Writing mothers with Maureen McCarthy and Rod Jones, hosted by Jane Sullivan
- Eye of the Sheep with Sofie Laguna, hosted by Jo Case.
- Attended a writing class at Writers’ Victoria – Page turning power with Margie Lawson.
- Daydreamed a lot about the second book in my children’s series. The protagonist is Calvin, who appeared in the first book. I didn’t plan the first book and wrote 500-750 words every day – just showed up at the page and wrote. I want to try a different approach with this book and plan it out. Just a loose plan – I think I would feel too restricted with a detailed plan for every scene.
- Written lots of blog posts for my website.
September is the month to plan my second children’s novel, launch my website, and attend two writing classes – with school holidays thrown in there, too!
This is a list to copy and join in from Pip Lincolne’s website
Making: a new website!
Cooking: rhubarb and orange cake
Drinking: chai latte
Reading: ‘The golden age’ by Joan London
Wanting: some more sleep
Looking: at our busy weekend schedule
Playing: guessing games with Mr 6
Deciding: which book to read next
Wishing: for more time
Enjoying: a quiet day
Waiting: for warmer weather
Liking: all the action around Book Week
Wondering: how noisy the school disco will be tonight!
Loving: a productive day
Pondering: what to serve with salmon tonight
Considering: some new recipes to try next week
Buying: not much!
Watching: the footy tomorrow night
Hoping: Essendon will win!
Marvelling: at how big-little Mr 6 is
Cringing: at supermarket conversations
Needing: more sleep
Questioning: how many sporting activities do we really need to do?
Smelling: lamb shank soup
Wearing: my cream poncho
Following: Allison Tait
Noticing: how little time there is until the school holidays
Knowing: I won’t finish everything I want to before then
Thinking: about my next book
Admiring: the dedication of Miss 8 to reading the Harry Potter series
Sorting: the washing
Getting: organised, somewhat!
Bookmarking: Natasha Lester
Coveting: my pillow
Disliking: the alarm
Opening: watercolour paint tubes
Giggling: at lunch with a friend
Snacking: on homemade hommus
Helping: Mr 11 with his homework
Hearing: the Australian Writers’ Centre podcast
The story: This book is the second edition – The divided heart originally came out in 2008. It is a collection of interviews with mother/artists or artist/mothers – however you want to put it! I devoured this book when it first came out when I was pregnant with Mr 6. I heard Rachel Power speak at the Melbourne Writers Festival in 2009 and felt like I wanted to contribute to the conversation with her guests on stage. [Read more…]
Last week, I posted some general tips for writing picture books. Today’s post focuses on specific writing tips.
- What does your character want? How does he or she get it? Maybe they don’t get what they want? How do they deal with it?
- Think of the story arc. It should slowly rise up to meet the climax, then drop down gently for the resolution. Often the protagonist in a picture book tries to solve the problem unsuccessfully twice, before solving the problem at the third attempt.
- What is the problem IN your story? What is your character going to do to solve that problem? How many attempts will they make?
- What is the problem WITH your story? Why doesn’t it sing? Is it the pacing? Is there too much in there? Is it too prosaic and bland? Does the language have rhythm? Does every word count and contribute to the story? Remember, you only have 500 words!
- Put it aside. Leave it and write something else. Then look at it with fresh eyes a week later, a month later or even a year later.
Allen and Unwin
The story: Peat, a nine-year-old girl, lives with her sister at the Overhang, a place four days’ walk from the nearest village. They tend cows, make cheese and wait for their aunt to bring supplies once a month. When a traveller brings sickness to the village, Peat is blamed – her looks do not fit in with the village. [Read more…]
Not all kids like writing, and some kids don’t mind writing but find it difficult to start or come up with ideas. I’ve put together some writing worksheets in pdf so you can print and write on them. They are linked to the points below, which can be used as guidelines to help you help your kids to develop a story at home or at school.
It’s so important at the beginning of a story to encourage wild brainstorming! No idea is too whacky to form into a story. Be open to all ideas and fragments – anything can be developed and teased out. If you have a child with a passionate idea for a story about black ice-cream but has no idea how to take it further, keep asking questions until you can stretch it out into a plan. Where does the black ice-cream come from? Who makes it? Where can you buy it? What happens when you eat it? Who wants the black ice-cream? Do you have to eat it – can you do something else with it? What texture does it have? What does it taste like? Do kids like it? Do adults like it? Who wants the black ice-cream most of all? What will that person/thing do to have the black ice-cream? Who will stop that person/thing who wants the black ice-cream? Your questions can really help your young writer to work out their story. [Read more…]
Rachel Isadora – author/illustrator
G. P. Putnam and Sons
The story: This is the stock standard version of the classic fairy tale. The illustrations, made with oil paints, printed paper and palette paper, are vibrant and vivid depictions of African princesses. The story also uses some African words, which are defined at the back of the book.
The highlights: The illustrations show that princesses don’t necessarily look like Disney ones. [Read more…]