Writerly top tips from author Matt Whyman

Author Matt Whyman has kindly given LWC the following top tips for writing children’s books:

1. Kids and teens are busy people. Your story has to compete with Facebook, videogames, TV and mates. So, it has to be engrossing.
2. Don’t feel you have to steer clear of difficult or taboo subjects. It’s how you address it that counts.
3. Avoid writing down to children. It can come across as patronising. Just let your characters talk naturally.
4. Steer clear of slang. It’ll be dated by the time you’ve reached the full stop in the sentence.
5. Nice and short chapters keep a story moving.

Matt Whyman is a bestselling novelist, also known for his work as an advice columnist for numerous teenage magazines.

He has written two novels for adults, Man or Mouse (2000) and Columbia Road (2001), as well as both fiction and non-fiction for teenagers, including Superhuman (2003), XY (2003), Boy Kills Man (2004), XY:100 (2004), The Wild (2005), Street Runners (2007), Inside the Cage (2008) and Goldstrike (2009).

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