Today Matt, Anna and Angela's literacy groups had the honour of a Skype chat with Melinda Szymanik, the author of a novel called "A Winter’s Day in 1939".
Melinda read us an excerpt from the novel and then talked about characterisation, how to be a great author, planning, tenacity and inspiration. Here are some snippets of information from Melinda we're going to use ourselves next time we write a story:
- Make sure to include a problem - set it up at the beginning of the story. Your character(s) need to solve this or deal with this.
- Drip in clues slowly throughout the story, don't give it all away at the start
- Put your characters in situations which make them react or talk or have to deal with issues
- Planning is SO important - what are your characters like? What sports / reading / food do they like? What are they good at? What are they bad at?
- A good way to think about this is to "interview" your character before writing - ask them questions!
- You can get inspiration from anywhere - movies, TV, your own experiences. Keep an open mind.
- Don't give up when writing, keep writing when the going gets tough
- Edit, edit, edit. The best writers often change huge parts of their stories, or rewrite the whole thing sometimes.
- Read a lot. It will flow over into your writing.
- The more you write the better you get, so keep practising!
We really appreciated the chance to chat. Thanks so much Melinda, we learned a lot!