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The Girl Who Talked to Trees

BOOK OF THE MONTH: A beautifully illustrated collection of magical, interlinked stories about a time-travelling girl and the stories trees hold.

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Guest Blog from Andy Jones

Andy Jones, Author of Unleash  Your Creative Monster

We LOVE the fun, new guide to creative writing - Unleash Your Creative Monster by Andy Jones and illustrated by Olaf Falafel.

It is funny and practical with tons of ideas, brilliant colour illustrations, creative writing prompts and, most importantly, a focus on making creative writing FUN!

Toppsta
2021-11-03
Guest Blog from Andy Jones
Sample Page - A Quick Guide to Genres

But don't just take our word for it - here's what our junior reviewers have said about the book!

"This is a really brilliant book with loads of great ideas that helped me think of fun, creative and exciting stories!" PHanke, aged 6

"This book is amazing, funny and full of ideas!! I can definitely see that it will help me with my creative writing at school and helps me get better as it has so many wonderful ideas, suggestions, and tips" zukuto, aged 9

"It will definitely turn you into an amazing author! I'm going to take this book in to show my teacher as I think there are loads and loads of really cool ideas we can use in the class." DaisyPaling, aged 9

"I love this book, me and my dad do the writing tasks together which is very fun. You do actually create a monster and a lair for it! For anyone who finds writing boring and frustrating this could conquer your struggles." DragonRider, aged 9

"I absolutely love this book. There are so many imaginative pictures. It's perfect for people who are like me and want to write stories but don't know how to." Leahac, aged 11

We asked author Andy Jones to give us some top tips for how to get started and unleash your creative monster.

And you can draw your own creative monster with illustrator Olaf Falafel's video too!


Toppsta
2021-11-03
Guest Blog from Andy Jones

guest blog from andy jones

How to Give Your Writing Claws.

Writing stories is one of my favourite things to do in the whole world. It’s creative, challenging and - most importantly of all - fun. Or at least it should be. That’s why I wrote Unleash Your Creative Monster. I want to encourage as many people as possible to pick up a pen and write stories of their own, and to make sure that when they do, they create the best stories they can and enjoy themselves in the process. The book contains tips and tricks used by some of your favourite authors, ideas for finding inspiration, and a million (okay, about 50) writing prompts.

What this book is not, is a textbook. It’s not a book on grammar or spelling or fronted adverbials. (Whatever they are.) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - it’s about making writing fun. Because when you have fun writing, it shows in your stories, and your readers will enjoy reading them as much as you enjoyed writing them.

Toppsta
2021-11-03
Guest Blog from Andy Jones

One of my favourite tips from Unleash Your Creative Monster is to do with similes. Don’t panic; I’m not going to get all English Teachery on you. No no no. I’m going here to tell you how to supercharge your similes, so that they make your writing colourful, descriptive and all together more wonderful.

You probably already know what a simile is, but a quick reminder before we continue. A simile is  a way of describing one thing by comparing it to another. For example:

The man’s beard was as messy as a bird’s nest.

Or:

The porridge resembled a huge dollop of elephant snot.

Similes in stories are like claws on a monster (oops, accidental simile right there). They grab you, hold you and pull you into the scene you are reading. Strong similes make characters and places more realistic, make comedy funnier, drama more intense and danger more terrifying. 

But similes can be even more effective if the comparison you use is a “good fit” for the thing or person they are describing. Come closer and I’ll show you what I mean.

Let’s use a simile to describe a pair of red lips:

Her lips were as red as rose petals.

This simile would work fine for Snow White – someone beautiful, happy and caring. But if we are describing a witch – scary, wicked, creepy – the comparing word will be stronger if it matches her character. How about this?

Her lips were as red as blood.

Not bad, certainly creepy, but not entirely original either. So, let’s try one more time:

Her lips were the same shade of red as a squashed bug.

Much creepier. And much better for it. So pick your similes carefully. As well as helping you paint a picture, they can also create a deeper mood or feeling.

Right, I think it’s time for you to create some similes of your own. Find some paper and a pen and see if you can complete the following similes:

The giant was as tall as …

The girl was as strong as …

The teacher was furious. Clambering out of the muddy stream, she resembled a …

When the ball hit him in the belly, it felt like …

Next, I want you to find a magazine, newspaper or book and choose an interesting person to describe. Your character can be human, animal or monster. They can look beautiful, weird or frightening. Just so long as they look interesting.

You don’t need to describe everything – in fact, it’s better if you concentrate on two or three key details and bring them to life with strong similes. Similes that grab your reader and hold their attention.

Remember: a good simile can create a feeling; it can give your reader a clue about what kind of person your character is – dangerous, heroic, silly or wise.

What are you waiting for? Go write something, and be sure to give it claws.

Toppsta
2021-11-03
Guest Blog from Andy Jones

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Book pages Placeholder Book

Unleash Your Creative Monster: A Children's Guide to Writing

A funny and accessible guide to creative writing, packed with practical advice, exciting story prompts and a cast of creative monsters.

In the pages of Unleash Your Creative Monster , budding writers will sink their teeth into story basics, essential writing tools and the hidden secrets of the wordsmith. Featuring top tips on finding inspiration, how to keep a story moving and beating writer's block, this essential guide has everything you need to unleash your creative monster.

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2nd November 2021

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Featured Book
The Girl Who Talked to Trees
The Girl Who Talked to Trees

BOOK OF THE MONTH: A beautifully illustrated collection of magical, interlinked stories about a time-travelling girl and the stories trees hold.

View book
Featured Books