Writing advice from author Kevin Brooks

Children’s author Kevin Brooks gives us his top three writing tips, to help emerging writers taking part in NaNoWriMo this year.

Writing tips from Kevin Brooks

1. There’s no right or wrong way to write a story. Some authors like to plan everything out before they start, others (like me) sketch out a rough framework of the story first, and some don’t plan at all, they just start writing. All you have to do is work out which method works best for you.

2. Write what you want to write. Don’t follow trends, don’t write for others, don’t try to write like anyone else.

3. If you get stuck on something (a plot problem, say, or how to write a particularly tricky sentence) get up from your desk, or wherever you’re writing, and go and do something else for a while, preferably something relatively mindless – go for a walk, take a bath, make a sandwich. More often than not, your unconscious will then solve the problem for you. As Martin Amis once said, “The unconscious does it all.”

About Kevin Brooks

Portrait of author Kevin Brooks

Kevin Brooks was born in Exeter and studied in Birmingham and London. He had a varied working life, with jobs in a crematorium, a zoo, a garage and a post office, before – happily – giving it all up when he secured his first book deal for Martyn Pig, a black comedy about a 15-year-old who decides not to tell the authorities when his alcoholic father dies accidentally. Martyn Pig was shortlisted for a 2002 Carnegie Medal and won the 2003 Branford Boase Award, as well as setting the tone for the dark and unsettling subject matter preferred by Kevin in his novels.

Kevin’s other acclaimed works include Lucas, Kissing The Rain, The Road of the Dead, Black Rabbit Summer and iBoy. His controversial 2013 novel The Bunker Diary won the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2014.

Born Scared is Kevin’s first novel for Farshore and his first novel since The Bunker Diary.

Kevin lives in North Yorkshire.

About NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), is an annual, online creative writing project that takes place every November. Around the world, people of all ages try to write a 50,000 word manuscript between 01 and 30 November, while gaining support from other writers and NaNoWriMo participants. Find out more on the NaNoWriMo website.

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