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Writing Advice

In this section, you will find a collection of blogs dedicated to writing advice. So, if your manuscript is starting to drive you crazy, or you’re not sure how to get started, read on for the push you need to create your masterpiece.

Writing ghostly stories for children with Cornelia Funke

Do you have a great idea for a children’s book? Perhaps all you have so far is an initial idea for a character? Maybe you have a plot that just won't go away or you could have a completed manuscript.

Either way, the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2014 is an invaluable resource which contains all the advice, information and contact details you need to help you on your writing path.

Children's ghost stories are some of the most exciting to write and to read - but crafting a can't-put-it-down ghost story is no easy feat.

Included in this year's Yearbook, however, is the very article to help you along! Describing the adventure of writing ghost stories by successful children's author Cornelia Funke will advise and inspire in equal measure.

A ghost story is not just a ghost story. Maybe that is especially true for one written for children. There are so many paths to take. A good story always starts with the right questions. Ghost stories like to hide from us, dress …

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My Writing Rules!

Are you interested in writing children's fiction? For years, perhaps you've secretly been wanting to indulge your inner child, or maybe you have a manuscript buried away somewhere that could - possibly, maybe, given a chance - be the next Harry Potter.

No matter what stage you've reached with your manuscript though, if you're interested in writing for the children then the Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2014 should certainly be of interest.  Available on August 1st, this invaluable guide contains all the information, advice and contact details you need to see you through your writing journey.

To give you a sneak peek at what you can expect from this year's version, successful children's author Jon Mayhew tells us his top rules when it comes to writing for children:

"I always want my main character to be one that children will like. That isn’t to say that the main character is always a paragon of virtue or even particularly pleasant. In Mortlock, Josie is a fairly …

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Music tells me stories - The Undercover Soundtrack

Some authors need silence to write; a blank space so their thoughts can be heard. And some of us need an ocean of music.

I’m one of those.

Music enslaves me. It always has. Even a crackle from a stranger’s earbuds will insist on my attention. In cafes that play music, I’m a zombie.

So it probably seems an odd facilitator for writing. But it’s this domineering quality that I find so helpful.

When I’m working on a novel, I drown in possibilities. Music helps me sort them out, holds them still so I can examine what the characters might feel and do. And so each novel I write has an undercover soundtrack.

An undercover soundtrack is not the music that the characters might like, or the songs that have meaning for them. It’s the pieces that became special to me as I wrote.

Creating a place

I first began making undercover soundtracks when I was ghostwriting novels. Many had exotic settings, and music helped conjure the mood. Trilok Gurtu was a …

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Francesca Brill on Being a Writer

To celebrate this week’s launch of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2014, are giving you a sneak-peek of what you can expect from this year’s edition of the indispensable guide to all areas of publishing and the media.

In our penultimate post, we take an excerpt from Francesca Brill's article 'Being a Writer'.  Here, the screenwriter and novelist discusses the importance of writers finding their personal writing space:

‘Personally, I need to be in a sensory deprivation zone before I can get any work done so, sadly, neither the steamy social cafe of J.K. Rowling fame, nor Fay Weldon's carved-out space on the kitchen table, nor even the erotic hush of the library are any good for me.  I'm more in the Jonathan Franzen/Zadie Smith mould.  Even the internet is a distraction too far, though I haven't gone as far as welding closed my internet access on the computer or buying the software that keeps it at bay for a certain number of …

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Notes From A Successful Crossover Author

To celebrate next week’s launch of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2014, are giving you a sneak-peek of what you can expect from this year’s edition of the indispensable guide to all areas of publishing and the media.

In this post, Neil Gaiman explains how he learned to “stop worrying” in order to become a successful crossover author.

Authors who write crossover fiction often find it more difficult to get their work published. 

Traditionally, crossover books tend to be harder for publishers to market and harder for bookshops to sell. But, following the success of writers such as Gaiman, J K Rowling and Philip Pullman, crossover fiction has never had a more captive audience.

So, if you’re harbouring ambitions of writing a book that’s loved by readers of fantasy and romance alike (for example), read on! 

‘You can do your best to write a book for children that adults will like (or the other way around…): you can try not to mess up the …

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