Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a fabulous summer!
Last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity of launching my new book MUMNESIA in my hometown of Cambridge! But what made this launch extra special was that I wasn’t doing it alone. Fellow fab authors James Nicol and Helen Moss also had books published recently so we decided to have a joint party! Huzzah! Our books are very different – James Nicol’s THE APPRENTICE WITCH is a magical story about young witch Arianwyn; Helen Moss’s THE SERPENT KING (the third in her SECRETS OF THE TOMBS trilogy) is a thrilling mystery adventure set in Mexico; and MUMNESIA is a comedy-drama about a girl whose strict mum loses her memory and thinks she’s 12 again! But they all centre on friendship, which is why it was particularly nice to share the occasion with friends.
Writing, by its very nature, can be very solitary. I spend most of my day alone with my laptop, and it can get a little bit lonely (though I do have Boots for company :)) But actually I’ve recently discovered there are several ways to make it less so…
Writing groups – why not join or create a group for people who love writing too? It’s great to meet new people who have similar interests, who you can share your stories and poems with, and who can help you make them better! It’s amazing how simply a fresh pair of eyes can help you spot problems – and find solutions (all writers need this – it’s almost impossible to edit your own writing! Critique groups and editors are GREAT for this!) Meeting and chatting to writing buddies can be very inspiring and encouraging – if you have readers who can’t wait to discover how your story ends you can’t let them down!
Maybe you could even work together on something? Speaking of which…
Writing with friends! Writing doesn’t ALWAYS have to be on your own. I’ve recently been co-writing a musical with my mum and a wonderful composer, which has been great fun – it’s so nice to bounce ideas around between us, and many TV shows (eg Danger Mouse, Thunderbirds are Go, Glee, Friends) are actually written
by a whole big TEAM of writers, shouting out ideas and jotting down lines during madcap meetings fuelled by endless doughnuts (at least that’s how I imagine it!), so why shouldn’t books be written this way as well? Dual narrative stories (stories written from two different characters’ points of view, taking it in turns) lend themselves particularly well to this method of writing, as you simply take it in turns to write your section – a bit like that game Consequences! Why not give it a go? Start a story – write a chapter or a section, or even just a line – then give it to a friend to write the next bit! Who knows where your story will end up?!
Write an anthology! If you’ve already got an idea and you’d prefer to write your own story by yourself, but still want to write with others as well, why not get together and create an anthology or magazine? This works particularly well with short stories, as they don’t take as long to write, but with a group of you you’d have a whole book/magazine in no time! I’ve written for several anthologies in the past, most recently with my author pals at The Edge, who put together our very own anthology: STORIES FROM THE EDGE! I can highly recommend both writing for anthologies and reading them, as they’re a bit like a box of chocolates – each story is a bite-size treat, so short and so different you can dip in and out whenever you want – and because they’re all written by different people they’re a terrific way to discover new favourite authors too!
Plus when all this writing with friends has paid off you can all hold a joint launch party to celebrate together – Huzzah!
Katie Dale is the author of MUMNESIA! the story of twelve-year-old Lucy, whose Mum is so overprotective and out of date, Lucy can’t believe she was EVER a teenager – until the day her mum wakes up with no memory of the last thirty years and thinks she’s a twelve-year-old time-travelling from the 1980s!
Published by Macmillan Children’s Books