Tom Palmer's writing blog - How I write: How you write. Part One
Posted by Tom Palmer
3 May 2011
Having an idea for a story
What do you like doing? What gets you out of bed on a Saturday morning? Is it dancing or playing football? Or is it shopping, cricket, your X Box, or is it reading or listening to music? Or something a whole lot more exciting?
And what fascinates you? War? Celebrities? Animals? Sport? Pop stars? Natural disaster? Spies?
These are the kinds of things a writer asks themselves before they start a book. They want to create something that will excite their reader – so they have to choose something to write about that excites them first.
You can have stories about anything. Girls who fall down rabbit holes. Dogs befriending children in war zones. Vampires in the same class as you at school. The diary of a stick man called Greg.
But what do I write about?
I love football. I watch it. I listen to it. I think about it. I am also fascinated by spies. Secretly, I’d like to be a spy. But, really, I can’t and wouldn’t. I’m a dad and it wouldn’t be fair on my daughter. Spies live dangerous lives. They get killed.
So…what if I decided to write a series of books about spies AND about football. Then I could be a spy though my characters. I could do the things I want to do, but without getting shot at myself. And, if was about football too, it’d be even more fun.
That’s how I got the idea for The Squad, my new series about a youth football team made up of girls and boys, that Puffin Books are publishing in 2012. Half of the team are just normal football-playing children. The other half are spies, whose job it is to find things out for the government. And to stop dangerous events happening.
In the first Squad book there is a massive danger. Someone is trying to blow up the England football team. But nobody knows exactly who it is. The Squad are sent in to stop the attack happening, playing in a football tournament near where it will be. And no-one suspects them because they’re just a kids’ football team.
And it’s - hopefully - very exciting.
If it wasn’t for my interest in football and spies I would not be as keen to do this as I am. And - as a result - it’d not be such good a book.
That’s why I choose to write about what I love.
Next week....how to make a believable character.
Schools Network members can also download a classroom activity related to this blog entry. View.
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Blogs by the same author
- Five things adults can do to get kids reading for pleasure during the World Cup in Blog by Tom Palmer
- Why the World Cup draw matters to schools in Blog by Tom Palmer
- Tom Palmer Euro 2012 blog, part three: Literacy begins at home in Blog by Tom Palmer
- Tom Palmer Euro 2012 blog, part two: Confessions of a school-visiting author in Blog by Tom Palmer
- Tom Palmer Euro 2012 blog, part one: Reading Euro 2012 in Blog by Tom Palmer