L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

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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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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It taNever mind newly minted corona lockdown stories, authors are frantically rewriting existing projects to reflect a world turned upside down by the pandemic – or shelving them indefinitely. Alison Flood Tom Watson, the former deputy leader of the Labour party, has been having a busy lockdown. Signed up to write a political thriller called …

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We all need to be reminded of the simple things sometimes. Jeremiah S Blanchard Writing is a tough job. It’s an art that takes far more practice than anyone considers — especially the beginning writer. You know it’s tough because you’ve been typing and scribbling away for a while now, and you haven’t caught any traction. You …

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Margaret Kingsbury “Cinderella.” “Little Red Riding Hood.” “Snow White.” “Sleeping Beauty.” “Beauty and the Beast.” “The Little Mermaid.” “Hansel and Gretel.” Most of us can probably name numerous books and movies that have reimagined these tales. It’s impressive how many variations of the same tale can be told, and it’s my proof when people ask, …

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Sophie Mackintosh Huge deals and fairytales are sexy anomalies – almost all writers face setbacks, they’re an important part of the creative process If there’s any universal truth, it’s that rejection happens to all of us at some point – especially in publishing. Most writers have entertained at least one 3am fantasy about an editor …

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Jean Hannah Edelstein One thousand is a conservative estimate of the number of books and book proposals that I rejected during my two-year publishing career. I have rejected books that have ended up selling for lots of money, and I have rejected books that were plagiarised wholesale from already-published writers, and I have rejected books …

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by Alex Keegan Fiction is lies. There is the Great Lie, the simple fact that the story is a story and not reportage. Fiction writers, therefore are liars — and they have to be good ones.George Scithers & Darrel Schweitzer, 1988 “The good ended happily and the bad unhappily — that’s what fiction means…”Oscar Wilde …

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“You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love.” By Maria Popova “Nourish yourself with grand and austere ideas of beauty that feed the soul… Seek solitude,” young Delacroix counseled himself in 1824. Keats saw solitude as a sublime conduit to truth and beauty. Elizabeth Bishop …

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Jeff Somers Stuck trying to find a way to begin your next story? Try gleaning inspiration from these 10 famous novels that break the usual rules of writing in their first lines. According to literary science(1), completing a novel lands somewhere between climbing Mount Everest and extinguishing the sun in terms of difficulty. Note the …

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