Writing Children’s Fiction

The trouble with a book like Writing Children’s Fiction: A Writers’ and Artists’ Companion,  is that it makes someone like me believe that they can write a children’s book. It is that good, and it is above all, that inspiring.

(So avoid at all costs if you don’t want to sit down and write a book just now.)

Linda Newbery and Yvonne Coppard provide loads of good advice for the budding author, based on how they themselves go about writing. Linda, for instance, began by wanting to be Monica Dickens. (Makes a change from all of us who thought we were Enid Blyton.)

Along with their own tried and tested methods, they have invited the cream of British children’s authors to share their thoughts on what to do. Or not to do. Many of them started off making beginner’s mistakes. Now that they have done it for you, your own path will be that much straighter.

I was pleased to learn Mal Peet made Marcus Sedgwick concerned with his flying-by-the-seat-of-his-pants technique. A little more worried by Meg Rosoff decking an interviewer for saying writing looked easy. Tim Bowler was a child prodigy if he’s to be believed, and Mary Hoffman has had a lifelong love affair with her muse, Italy.

Once inspiration has you in its grips, there are workshops on every possible aspect of writing books. And because these ladies don’t seem to doubt that my (your) book will get published, there are links to useful consultancies, blogs and how to get a school visit arranged.

And how could you fail? There are so many tips, not to mention inspirational tales in Writing Children’s Fiction, that you will be absolutely fine. Anne Fine, who has written the foreword, wishes she had had access to this kind of guide when she began, instead of doing it the hard way.

I will try to refrain from embarking on a book, but will be happy to review yours when it’s done. Always assuming you have followed the advice and made it a good one. But you will.

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10 responses to “Writing Children’s Fiction

  1. We will forgive you if you end up writing one, you know.

  2. . . . and we promise to say lots of nice things about it!

  3. Oh dear, you’re sucking up to me without there even being a book…
    Excellent! Now I certainly don’t need to write one.

  4. Good point: I may try that too. It would save a lot of time.

  5. oh go on … you want to … you’ve said it aloud now.

  6. Not sure about child prodigy but I’m hoping to become a geriatric one.

  7. :)
    ‘I’ve been writing since I was five.’ Or so you say in this book… I suppose your Elizabethan story was a little way off perfection, but still pretty good for five.

  8. Still at the ideas stage for my children’s books — all two of them — but as there’s so much else to do they may well remain ideas, candidates for the Library of Unwritten Books. (And, yes, there is one: http://www.unwritten.org.uk/about.html)

  9. I considered the idea this evening but failed to come up with anything.

  10. Pingback: MONDAY MIX | Novels of fantasy and flight

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