Nope, I’m not talking about Selfies, or Snakes, or even Soup. I’m actually talking about Structure. That old thing that can derail even the very best story. The simplest of structures can still fail to complement the narrative, and sometimes it’s impossible to work out what you’re doing wrong.
Hi. Today I thought we could talk about creating characters.
When I start to create a new character, I often begin with a name. But sometimes that’s all I know about the character I’m about to spend a year with. I may have an idea of their age, but details like how they look, talk, act and move are all still a mystery to me.
My first YA novel was called The Haunting of Lily Frost and it’s a coming-of-age ghost story. I wrote it because I’d been writing a tv series about the supernatural, and I loved it. I’ve always loved horror films and scary stories, and so I decided to try and write one.
I thought today we could talk titles. To be honest, titles make me want to scream sometimes. Because I always thought the title would just come to me. Pop up in my head after all the real work had been done. But actually they are tricky little things. They are very good at hiding in the pages of your book and aren’t always as obvious as you’d hoped.
Today I thought I’d talk about the terrors of writing. And my number one terror comes from a crippling fear of public speaking.
Public speaking is one of those things that I wish I were good at. In fact if I was writing a list of all the things I can have in my life – aside from international holidays, a car that starts in the morning and all the chocolate I can eat, being comfortable speaking publicly would be right up there.
Today I thought I’d talk a bit about the difficulty of adaptations. We’re pretty used to seeing YA books adapted to the big screen, but what about going in the other direction? Adapting a film to a book?
Well before I wrote YA books, I wrote for film and television. And the very first funded film I wrote was a short film called Ripples. It was about two teenage boys who were wandering suburban streets late at night, bored and looking for something to do. What they found was a game that ended up killing someone.
Hello. My name’s Nova and I’m pretty excited to be your writer-in-residence for November.
Actually to be honest, I’m also a little nervous. It feels a bit like my first day at school.
That’s one of the things I’ve discovered about writing books. Starting out means a lot of firsts. The first book published. The first reader. The first school visit. And now, the first blog post. And as much as I love new things, all these firsts can be quite overwhelming sometimes. So I’m taking a deep breath… and here goes…
Friends, this is my last post! Shattered. It's been great to chat to you for the month, and I shall miss you. I was debating with myself about what to leave you with, and I've ended up landing on a grab-bag of nuggets and tips that I wish someone had told me ten years ago when I started writing professionally. Here we go: