When I finished writing my book ‘Ted & His Time-Travelling Toilet’ I can’t tell you how excited I was to share it with the world.
Creating a story from your own imagination and then having someone read and enjoy it is an incredible feeling. From touring around schools and speaking to children the country over, I discovered that lots of them have already begun writing a book and even more would love to try but don’t know how to. So, I’ve put together a guide for parents to pass on to their authors-in-the-making.
Write About What You Know
If you are really passionate about dancing and know everything there is to know about it then writing a book about football might not be the best idea. Always stick to writing about subjects that you know about or subjects that you would like to know about. I mean, I didn’t know very much about the Romans when I started writing my book (no, I wasn’t born then, I’m not that old thank you very much!) But, I was interested in finding out about them.
Pick A Genre
By that I mean what type of book do you want to write? Comedy, horror, mystery, adventure or maybe a comedy horror mystery adventure? It’s up to you.
There Are No Rules
There is no right or wrong way of writing (there is a right and wrong way of spelling though!) Remember Dr Seuss, Roald Dahl even William Shakespeare made up their own words when they couldn’t find the right ones to use which is totally kadonculous (I made this word up).
Think About a Beginning, Middle And End
You only need to have a rough idea but it will help to know where you are heading.
Lots of people tell me they’d like to write a book but never got around to it. What a waste!! If you have a great idea then just do it!
Keep A Notebook With You
You never know when you’ll have that next great idea - it could be at 3 in the morning, when you are in the bath or when you are walking your dog so always keep a pen and notebook handy or you’ll forget what it was you were thinking of.
I Forgot What Number 7 Was
… because I didn’t write it down.
Get It All Written Down Then Go Back And Check It
I’m sure your teachers already tell you to go back and check your work but it’s really important if you want people to read it. But, don’t worry about it straight away. Just get the story written and call that your first draft. Then, when it’s done go back and check the spelling, grammar, and that it all makes sense.
Let People Read It
It’s no good working really really hard writing a book and then not letting anyone read it so, give it to your friends, your parents, your parents friends, your parents friends parents, your parents…ok, you’ve got the idea. Tell them to be honest, what did they like? What didn’t they like? Take the feedback on board, don’t get upset if they didn’t like a section, just go back and have another look at it and see if you can rewrite it in a different way. I get my kids to read my books before anyone else and they tell me what they like and don’t like. It’s really important to get that feedback.
Get It Published
You would think that it’s the hard part but actually it’s easier than you think. If you have a great story and you want people to read it then take a look at the self-publishing options like on Amazon (kdp.com) or Smashwords. It takes a little time and you might need some help from a parent or teacher but then it’s out there for everyone to read and leave you feedback which is really exciting.
Keep that notebook handy because you never know when the next great idea is about to pop into your head and turn you into a millionaire overnight. Note to self: Come up with a great idea that turns you into a millionaire overnight. Most importantly have fun with your imagination. It can take you anywhere you want to go and if you write it down then it can take someone else there too. So, what are you waiting for? Get writing!
Steven is the author of ‘Ted & His Time-Travelling Toilet’. The first in the series Roman Rewind is available now from bookstores or direct from his website www.tedstoilet.co.uk. He runs a live creative writing show during lockdown where you can be the star and co-author of an actual book. Just go to Facebook for more details.