This month we’ll be featuring:
– The World Book Day Website featuring some great writing advice
– Bobdobilityspawnorinando Lake – a poem by Freya, Stockport
– Sounding Off – Writing Dialogue
World Book Day – 5th March 2020
As a writer there are three things you need to do: read, write and edit. It’s that simple. So, we thought we’d tell you about World Book Day because it’s all about getting people to read more. And, reading is a really fun thing to do. You can be transported to other worlds, meet fascinating characters and learn loads. But most importantly, the more you read, both in time and variety, the better writer you’ll become.
The World Book Day website is well worth a visit. There are loads of suggestions of books you may like to try. But the most interesting thing for you is that there are loads of videos and resources for young writers.
On the Story Craft page you’ll find over 50 story writing guides from top authors. Don’t worry if that sounds a bit daunting you can filter the advice down into the type of writing you like to do. But it doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve read the advice, it’s time to get writing. You write your story directly on the website – you’re taken step-by-step through each stage – then you check it over and share.
If you don’t fancy that, then there are 40 Author and Illustrator Masterclass videos from top authors and illustrators alongside note taking templates and notes for teachers to use in class (though you can just do the exercises yourself if you like).
This site is a great place to get hints and tips to help you develop your writing skills. So check it out.
Bronze Arts Award Focusing On Creative Writing
If you’d like to get a nationally recognised qualification whilst developing your creative writing skills then check out our Bronze Arts Award programme. If it appeals, show it to your parents or guardian to see if they will enrol you.
- start anytime
- seven-day trial
- tutorial support by email or phone (your choice).
- explore the writing genres you like
- ideal for 11-18-year-olds but can do up to 25.
At our Saturday morning class, in Marple library, we asked our young writers to create a made up place then write a story or poem about it. Here is what young writer, Freya, came up with.
Bobdobilityspawnorinando Lake by Freya – aged 10
The lake of wonders,
nobody’s breath has
ever set foot on its
The sun skims its surface,
setting the waters alight in
a fiery spark,
illuminating the silence.
Not a creatures whisper
has ever pricked the glossy liquid,
not a sound has rippled it.
How long its name,
it stands as remote
and unknown, untouched
as it has ever been.
Thank you Freya for giving us permission to share your beautiful poem.
If you have a story, a poem, or a non-fiction piece you’d like to share with the Budding Writers community please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org Please also include your age and name. If we use your work then we’ll send you a £5 Amazon voucher.
If you love to write stories then take a look at our FREE How To Write Better Stories Online course . If you’re under 16, check with your parents or guardian to make sure they are happy with you signing-up for it.
Lots of writers struggle with dialogue, including our old friend J.R.R. Timkin (author of Dragons Stole My Cheese and The Useless Elves of Mellor Moor). This is a conversation we overheard between him and his cleaning lady:
“I must confess, Mrs. Figgis, if there’s one thing I absolutely detest, it’s writing dialogue.”
“Oh, and why’s that, Mr. Timkin?”
“Because it always sounds like complete twaddle, never… natural”
“Nach’ral? Y’mean like real folk, talking?”
“Exactly! When one struggles to recreate the intricacies of human nature on the page, one expects a certain cadence in the expressions of one’s characters that echoes the banal reality of the everyday. But despite a long, dogged pursuit of this particular goal, all I seem to produce is reams upon reams of twaddle.”
“Well that is a shame. But I suppose it’s coz you’ve got y’dog barking at the wrong goal, haven’t you?”
“I’m terribly sorry, Mrs. Figgis - ‘the wrong goal’?”
“Aye, sounding nach’ral - y’don’t want that! Characters in stories need to say just the right thing at the right time. Real folk don’t do that, they’re dead boring - umming ‘n’ ahing, losing the plot, forgetting what they’re on about… Y’ don’t want that in a story, do you?”
“Uhm… Eh…Well… put like that, I suppose not. But if dialogue is not used to usher in some breath of reality to an otherwise fantastical tale, what the dickens is it for?”
“Well, they use it for all sorts, don’t they? Revealing character, for starters. Y’can tell loads about people from how they talk - social status, education, whether they’re a Boomer or Gen Z… Y’can even tell where they’re from. Y’know, like Americans always saying ‘y’all’ and ‘wassup dude?’ Can y’imagine me calling you ‘dude,’ Mr. Timkin? Wouldn’t be right, would it?”
“It certainly wouldn’t, Mrs. Figgis - most disconcerting.”
“Then, imagine we was in a story, and I said some’t like ‘Oh! You’re a fine figure of a man, Mr. Timkin.’ Everyone would know you was a hunk, wouldn’t they? Without any o’those long, waffling descriptions. All that ‘seeing a character through another character’s eyes’ stuff - it’s dead easy with a bit o’dialogue.”
“Well… yes… I suppose…”
“Y’can use it for exposition dumps too. Say, if our story was a whodunit, I could explain exactly how to wash fingerprints off a wine glass, couldn’t I? Coz I’m a cleaner.”
“You are, Mrs. Figgis - a jolly good one too.”
“And it can move y’plot forward, Like, I could say, ‘The only place y’ll get that posh French plonk round here is from Alfie’s Off Licence on Boozie Street. It opens at six.’ Then everyone would know where y’were going, and why, wouldn’t they?”
“Absolutely, they would! And without any chewy, convoluted prose - genius! You know, Mrs. Figgis, I think you should have a go at this writing game yourself - you’d be wizard!”
“Oh no! Not me, Mr. Timkin. I’ve no imagination at all - wouldn’t know where t’start. Tell y’what, you write us one o’those exciting stories o’yours, and I’ll do the carpets. Then everyone’ll be happy.”
“Right you are, Mrs. Figgis.”
So, there y’go. Even the pro’s sometimes have trouble with dialogue. But it’s such a useful tool, and as long as you’ve got a good idea who your characters are, it’s not that hard. If you want to see how much fun it can be, why not take a couple of characters of your own, and write a conversation between them, like the one here between Mr. Timkin and Mrs. Figgis? But watch out - once those characters get chatting, you never know where they’ll take you - could open up a whole new story.
Enjoy your writing!
That’s all folks!
All the best,
Phil and Susie Busby