L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Majority of authors ‘hear’ their characters speak, finds study

Research on writers appearing at the Edinburgh international book festival reveals 63% listen to their creations, and 61% feel they have their own agency. Alison Flood Some writers have always claimed they can hear their characters speaking, with Enid Blyton suggesting she could “watch and hear everything” and Alice Walker describing how her characters would …

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Finding your Voice

Midge Gillies and Tony Benn Viewpoint As you start to write your style will emerge. Before you begin you should have some idea of how much of you will appear in the book. If you’re writing a memoir nearly all of it may be written in the first person and yours may be the only …

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How to Write: Style

Peter Cole Competent, effective, functional, engaging journalistic writing can be learnt, and some advice has been provided in this online series. Brilliant writing for newspapers has a plus factor which is hard to define and is not achieved by many. It comes down to style. Keith Waterhouse puts it this way: “What is this style? …

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Characters and Viewpoint

Linda Newbery, Michael Lawrence and Lauren Child The main characters in fiction for children and teenagers tend, not surprisingly, to be children and teenagers, though it’s not hard to find exceptions, such as Philip Pullman’s Once Upon a Time in the North. To write convincingly, whether in first- or third-person, you need to position yourself …

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From idea to story

Linda Newbery and Nicola Davies “Where do you get your ideas from?” Every author who gives talks to children or adults has been asked this question hundreds of times, and of course there’s no simple answer. Ideas are everywhere – the trick is to recognise a promising one when you get it, and not let …

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