Friday, October 07, 2005

J.K. Rowling speaks

In BBC's Authors on the Spot feature, J.K. Rowling offered some writing tips for children. The advice is good for adults too, so take note, all you aspiring novelists. (Note to self : get off the Internet now and go plan out your novel! Don't forget that cup of tea.)

Any tips for kids who want to get started as an aspiring author?

The best way to learn about style, characterisation and plot construction is to read as much as you possibly can.

You will probably find that you start to imitate your favourite authors, but this is a good learning process and your own style will come eventually. Always plan your work; writing aimlessly sometimes throws up a good idea or two, but it is no way to produce a whole story.

Write what you know: your own interests, feelings, beliefs, friends, family and even pets will be your raw materials when you start writing. Develop a fondness for solitude if you can, because writing is one of the loneliest professions in the world!

And finally: perseverance is absolutely essential, not just to produce all those words, but to survive rejection and criticism. However, the utter joy of seeing a book you wrote sitting in a bookshelf is a prize worth striving for!

How do you get your inspiration for your writing?

The ideas just come; I don't really need much external inspiration. Just give me a quietish half hour, and perhaps a nice cup of tea, and I'll probably be able to dash off a paragraph or two.

11 comments:

Kak Teh said...

Lydia, I think my children burnt out quite early...they love reading and writing - lovely stories. But then they got bored and moved on. But I am glad that they still love reading. I just need to buy the books, place them on the table and they will digest them quite fast.

Hari said...

Hi Lydia,

I'm new to blogging and I wanted to tell you how useful I find most of the information here on your blog. Well done!

Hari

bergen said...

Yours is one of the blogs that I bookmarked along with Pok Ku, Kak Teh, Awang Goneng, to use as the guide to pick up writing so I can put down my experience in writing as I didn't go any college but work odd jobs until this recently that I discovered this thing called blog and you can write in whatever you want and see if anyone out there is kind enough to give comments whether you are writing the right way or whatever. I will read your blog as if it were text book. T

dr in the house said...

As far as I know, JK Rowlings herself never had formal education on being a writer right? Correct if I'm wrong. Wasn't she a single mom who could barely make ends meet? Amazing how she could reach such heights eh?

marsha said...

ok ok,.....must remember all of that!! If any one of my kids have potential to be the next JK Rowling, I am all for it, man!! Considering Mama is one lousy one.

:-)
marsha

AdieJin said...

i write with my heart. I mean when I decide to write, I just spill out the feelings I had into my writings with zero prejudice.

Lydia Teh said...

KT, Your kids got initiative. Sometimes I have to buy books and tell the kids to read, unless it's Harry Potter. It'll be snapped up pronto.

Hari, thanks. Wow, you've finished your novel. Great!! I'm still struggling.

Bergen, that's such a nice compliment, thanks. All the best in your writing. Keep at it. I oso don't have degree.

Dr, JKR is a fairytale rags-to-riches story herself.

Marsha, don't be like that lah. Mama also can write but must encourage kids to write better than Mama.

Adiejin, way to go. Unfortunately, sometimes our inner critic hurls prejudices at us.

Doreen said...

Quietish half an hour over a cuppa and paragraphs just spill out? Boy. She's not joining our Hem & Haw Writer's Club that's for sure! Wahahahah.

Lydia Teh said...

Doreen, you're right. Look how thick her books are, and they keep getting thicker!

Ms.B said...

Hello Lydia!! First time leaving a comment here, but have been reading your blog since Kak Teh mentioned it some time back!

"Develop a fondness for solitude if you can, because writing is one of the loneliest professions in the world!" - since I love solitude and savour it, can I become a writer on that premise alone?? LOL

Lydia Teh said...

Blabarella, nice to have you here. Love for solitude, yeah, that's a prerequisite to writing, for me it is. You're half way there my dear.