Note: To encourage storytelling and imaginative writing skills Theresa has written the DREAM MASTER series, a funny fast-paced time slip adventure series highlighting storytelling and creative writing. You'll find lots of useful information and hints within these stories as Cy and his Dream Master argue about Alliteration, Adverbs and Adjectives!
Q. Where do you get your ideas from?
A. Everywhere - real life situations, people, newspapers, being curious… and sometimes young people actually ask me to write a book on a subject, e.g. BULLIES AT SCHOOL came about because a person who was being bullied asked me to write a story about it. ---- Now, I'd like to ask YOU a question. If you have one mouth and two ears - does that mean that you should listen twice as much as you talk?
Q. How do you begin a story?
A. Hold onto my hat and jump in! Try Action before Reaction to kickstart your story.
Q. How long have been a writer?
A. I had my first book published 12 years ago.
Q. Were you good at writing as a child?
A. I was really good at avoiding school work and household chores so that I could find somewhere quiet to read.
Q. What do you like about being a writer?
A. It's great when I get a good idea and the story begins to work out. I love the bit when it's all finished and the new book arrives with my name on it. I also like talking to young people and meeting other writers.
Q. Where can I get ideas from for my writing?
A. Ideas and inspiration can come from real life, news, newspapers, magazines, conversation, history books, and being a bit nosy and looking around you when you are out and about. Try keeping an "ideas file" which might be a folder or an old shoe box full of newspaper clippings and scraps of paper with things written on them.
Q. I've got ideas but I can't seem to get going with writing them down. What do you suggest?
A. To get started - sometimes the best the best way is to jump right in! Go over the story outline, or all the bits and pieces that you've got in your head and when you reach the part that something actually happens write that down, then work backwards, forwards and sideways from there! In DREAM MASTER - NIGHTMARE! Cy talks about this, he says - "Action before Reaction. First make things happen, then do the why and wherefores after…"
Q. I seem to get sidetracked and never get anything finished. What am I doing wrong?
A. Try to set aside a certain time of the day for writing and try to stick to that, even if you don't feel like doing it - which may be often! Perhaps you could make it one day every week for half an hour or an hour or an hour and a half, or perhaps ten minutes each weekday night before going to bed, or ten or twenty minutes on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Do you see what the plan is here? One special time to be your writing time and you stick to that, although do give yourself a holiday now and then. When you are writing it doesn't always have to be good sentences, use some of this time for jotting down ideas, new words, or anything that comes into your head.
Helpful tips for would be writers:
- Keep a note-book handy, or don't be too far from a pencil and a piece of paper. You never know when a good idea might pop into your head and you want to be able to write it down - fast.
- Jot down interesting things that have happened, and also how you felt at the time.
- Read! Read! Read!
I like reading
Books are fun
You can share
Read them day or night!
Easy to carry
To read upon the train
Or up a tree
In the library
Some people sit upon a chair
My favourite place is on the stair
Theresa Breslin 2004