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.