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Make Your Ideas Welcome – They’re Your Friends

November 15th, 2019

Forty-odd years ago, our dynamics lecturer wrote an equation on the blackboard. One symbol caught my imagination. That idea, for a novel, complete with cover design, remained with me for about thirty five years.

Years later, I reached the novel writing section of the Writers Bureau Comprehensive Writing Course. The same idea eventually grew into my début novel, Theta Double Dot.

I’m always fascinated by how others garner ideas, so I’d like to share some of my own methods. I should emphasise that these have evolved, as my circumstances and opportunities have altered. Read the rest of this entry »




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Small But Perfectly Formed – Flash Fiction

November 8th, 2019

First, thanks to Willie for last week’s post. It’s interesting to hear him say that he thought writing for children would be easier than writing for adults. Lots of people phone up for a chat about enrolling on our Writing For Children Course and they often seem to think that this will be the case – unfortunately, as Willie found out, it’s not!

If anything, it’s harder because you have to know what age group you are targeting; you then have to be able to use words and ideas that are appropriate to this particular age group. You have to convince a publisher that you know what you’re doing in this respect and you also have to steer clear of overworked and old-fashioned concepts. What was popular when you were a child – or when your children were young – might not be top of the publishers pops these days. Finally, you’ve always to keep parents and teachers in mind. Because these are the people who have the money and will buy the books you write. If you’re writing books for young children, parents want them to look attractive and be fun to read aloud. If you’re writing for older children they want to be sure that if you do touch on a difficult topic it is done with tact and, let’s be honest, there is always the issue of ‘political correctness’. Read the rest of this entry »




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Preparing Your Children’s Book

November 1st, 2019

I finished a twenty-module Comprehensive Writing Course with the Writers Bureau in August 2019. I started the course in 2015 and at times was stumped by challenges along the way and let months pass without completing a module. But I always returned and the assignments worked; they made me think, they made me research, they made me practise. Help was always at hand from a tutor when I needed it. The course took me through a process and made me a better writer. That’s what it’s for. The learning through twenty assignments brought me the hard-won skills and confidence to be a writer.

There’s another reason I spent four years finishing my course. I have written two novels during these four years. One of them, Eoghan and The Talking Animals, was released on Amazon in April 2018, and the second book in this series, Eoghan and The Treasure of Termonfeckin, is being launched now, in November 2019. These books, set in Ireland, tell the story of an eight-year-old boy who discovers one summer on his grandfather’s farm that he has a gift: he can talk with animals. This brings Eoghan endless joy, but also endless problems, and he spends most of the first book solving dramatic problems on the farm. Read the rest of this entry »




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Winner of the Student Competition

October 30th, 2019

For our latest student competition we asked people to write the title and opening for a crime novel. Our congratulations go to David Goodday for the winning entry. Enjoy!

THE ITALIAN CAT SITTER

I was at home when I received the call from Mario. He told me that he wasn’t going to make it home that night and asked me for a favour. Mario was my next door neighbour and quite often I would use his spare key to go round and feed his cat for him. So, I went round, let Read the rest of this entry »




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Don’t Skimp On Research

October 25th, 2019

First, thanks to Sim for last week’s post. I see so many poems come in to our competitions each year (and I enjoy reading them all) so I know good advice when I see it and I feel he’s hit the nail on the head. It’s not always wise to enter competitions with the biggest prizes – the entry fees are often high and you’re up against really serious competition. Your wallet and your self-esteem can be dented if you get knocked-back too often. There are lots of competitions out there, so be selective about those you enter, think carefully about their requirements and consider the judges.  In other words, do your research properly and then make sure you stick to the rules and never, ever send a poem that you’re not 100% committed to. Read the rest of this entry »




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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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