Leaves are starting to turn and it's nearly time for the children to go back to school - so now's a good time to think about a new challenge.
Have you always wanted to write a novel for children? Now is your chance to turn that longing into reality. We can kick start your writing with our new series of classes and opportunities starting in September.
I have been a published author for twenty years - everything from self help books and craft books to picture books and novels. I have taught the Writing for Children course for The London School of Journalism and others, and have lectured regularly at Newcastle University.
If you would like me to help to kick start your writing, consider my new six week course starting next month.
WRITING FULL LENGTH FICTION - NOVELS FOR CHILDREN
Week One: Ideas (Thursday September 8th, 7.30-9.30)
So...you have lots of ideas - it's just getting them down on paper! When I do 'school visits' and book signings, people always want to know where ideas come from! Find out about keeping author notebooks and how to generate ideas for stories and more.
Week Two: Plotting and Planning (Thursday September 15th, 7.30-9.30)
Find out easy ways to develop your ideas into a plot outline - create the frame to hang your story upon. A good strong plot from the beginning - even if it changes as you write - can help to make your story 'work.'
Then we flesh out the bones and create a story plan. How will you grip your reader as they turn the pages? Will there be a sub plot? Does your story have a theme?
Week Three: Characters (Thursday September 22nd, 7.30-9.30)
Building characters that are believable is the key to writing a good story that has staying power. If people don't care about your characters, they won't care about all of the exciting action and description you pour into your book, because they aren't invested in the characters. You want to leave behind characters that live in the imagination of your readers long after the story is finished. Find out how!
Week Four: World Building (Thursday September 29th, 7.30-9.30)
Whether your story is set in the real world or in a fantasy existence (or even somewhere in between...) the world that you build needs to feel 'real' to your readers. Your world may be a particular time; it may be a physical space - but it must be authentic.
Week Five: Dialogue (Thursday October 6th, 7.30-9.30)
Dialogue can make or break a story. It's something many authors struggle with, as they try to 'stay true' to the characters they create. We'll use a variety of exercises to develop your skills.
Week Six: Description - Putting Meat on the Bones (Thursday October 13th, 7.30-9.30)
How much is too much? Don't let flowery phrases clutter your work, and learn to banish adverbs. Clean writing can still revel in descriptive writing that brings your reader into the heart of your world.
We will also (over coffee and cake) discuss the publishing market as it stands and how to give your book the best chance of finding a publisher.