Written by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter and illustrated by Matt Phelan (Square Fish)

Spilling Ink is one of the best handbooks for young writers you’ll find, with everything from finding your writer’s voice to plotting what happens, creating your characters, choosing a narrative voice (who is telling your story) and getting into a writing practice.  

The authors have put together everything a young writer needs to know. So all you need to do is sit down and… write whatever comes into your head.  

Is it really that simple?  Well, yes and no.  It is as simple as starting to write and the more complicated part comes in sticking at writing.  Practice, play, write and rewrite.  Have fun with it.  If that sounds too simple, keep reading the book because there’s loads more practical advice on how to create your first story.

What the Book Covers

The books is written in a friendly and accessible style. The authors mix personal anecdotes with practical guidance on how to find a voice, develop characters and plot, make revisions and overcome writer’s block. Fun writing prompts will help young writers jump-start their own projects, and encouragement throughout will keep them at work.  We love how the book covers all the important aspects and then also adds in things you may not even have thought about, like having a writing habit and setting writing goals. 

The Writing Habit

One of the most important practices for a writer is to get into a habit of writing.  No matter your age, if you want to pursue writing as a career or serious hobby, you need to make it a part of your life.  This means sitting in front of your computer or page for dedicated time everyday or week.  Sometimes you will be so creative, it’s like you’re on fire and your words are burning embers dropping onto the page.  This girl is on fire!  Other times it’s all a flat fizzle as you can’t seem to get your brain into gear. Don’t worry.  Write down whatever comes into your head anyway.  You can always edit it the next day, and at least you’re committing to your practice. 

Set Goals

Another good practice is to set goals for yourself.  Whether it’s 100 words a day or finishing a chapter a week, make realistic goals you know you can meet. And stick to them! The book also advises to keep a journal which we think is an excellent idea.

We ordered our copy on Amazon as we couldn’t find it locally.

If you need more inspiration check these blogs out and enter the Kingsmead Book Fairs’ Young Writers’ Competition here.

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