Write for a Reason

11 Episodes

By: Janet

For Christians new to writing novels for kids and teens. Creative writing tips, encouragement and inspiration from Janet Wilson, writer, speaker, and publisher of Christian fiction for young people. Get ready to take your writing to the next level! You can do it - all you need is a bit of help. Don't miss out!

Interview with Joy Vee, writer for a reason
Last Friday at 12:00 AM

Thanks for coming over!

Here's an interview with Joy Vee, author of several Christian children's books. Her story is a real inspiration. If you are writing for children and are unsure of the way, Joy's story of doing the Write for a Reason Academy, writing stories then getting them published will give you all the encouragement you need to keep going.

So, listen, and be inspired!


Interview with Martin Smith

I have known Martin Smith for quite a few years now. Martin has done the Write for a Reason course and participated in various challenges, but most importantly, has gone on to have three books published!

Here are the details of his books:

Treasure Tree by Martin Smith ISBN 978-1907509964

Mystery Tours with Treasure Tree by Martin Smith ISBN 978-1788157100

Both of these books are published by Onwards and Upwards.

The latest book is Crew in Crisis by Martin F. Smith ISBN 978-1398419179...

Who Are You Writing For?

Who are you writing for?

We’ve touched on this a little bit before, but it’s so important, I’m bringing it up again:

Who do you want to write for?

This may sound like a daft question, but you need to know who you want to write for, BEFORE starting your novel.

You can have what we think is a brilliant idea for a story, but you need to check that it will resonate with your target readers.

I have been asked...

Write for a Reason Podcast - Voices for Your Characters

Voices for your Characters

One important element of creating good dialogue is to make sure that each of your characters has his or her own voice.

Just for fun, in the Write for a Reason course, one of the assignments is to imagine telling a group of your family/friends some astonishing news (e.g. that you have bought a new car or are going on holiday to the Seychelles) and write a dialogue based on their different reactions.

It makes fascinating reading!

In just the same way as...

Have Fun with Freewriting!

Freewriting is a technique where for a set period of time you sit down and just write. It's a great way to:

begin if you don't know where to startpractice writing (practice makes better!)gain confidenceget disciplinedwrite from the heartget used to writing from your own experiencefinish your first draft.

Try and write for at least ten minutes every day. This will flex your writing muscles!

One thing you must not do during your allotted freewriting time is to correct what you have written.


Should You Ask Friends to Read Your Finished Manuscript?

Should you ask friends and family to review your newly finished manuscript for you? Writers are often advised against it, because those who are close to us are likely to be more polite than honest, and may not have the necessary knowledge to make comments on the technical aspects of story writing.

However, although they are unable to advise on characterisation, plot, narrative voice and dialogue, does that mean that friends and family have nothing of value to offer? I would suggest they do!

Here are three things you could ask for comments on...

How Old Should Your Protagonist Be?

I have a really quick, but important creative writing tip for you today...

How old should your protagonist be?

Getting this one thing right or wrong can make or break your novel!

Here’s the thing:

Children like to read about other children either their own age or a bit older.

They tend not to be so keen on reading about younger children – not as the main characters, anyway – they have already been there and done that!

So if you want to write for 8-11s, mak...

Theme and Purpose

Theme and Purpose

Writing for pure enjoyment is a wonderful thing! God has given us all gifts, and if you enjoy writing for fun, that's great!

If, however, you want to write a story for a specific reason, it might help if you can ask yourself the following questions:

Who am I writing for (we covered that last week, right?)What is the purpose of this story?What reaction am I hoping to get from my readers?

Here's an example: you may be thinking about writing a...

Episode Six: Five Ways You Can Use Animals in Your Stories

Children love animals! Well, most of them do, anyway, and if you have an animal in your story, that can help to engage your readers.

If your animals can help to solve a crime, find a missing person or be an asset in some way, so much the better. Equally, if there is an animal in need - hurt, in danger, or otherwise at risk, this could also add emotion to your story.

Dolphins, horses and ponies, cats, dogs, elephants, parrots or monkeys . . . it doesn't matter really, as long as they help you...

Episode 5: How Many Characters Do You Need For Your Story?

How many characters do you need for your story?

The answer is, as few as possible! If you can keep the number of characters in your story down to the bare minimum, it will make your writing less complicated, thereby keeping the action going at a good pace. If, for example, you have two main characters, let's say they are neighbours, and each of the children have several siblings, you could end up with eight or ten characters. Readers may quickly forget who is who and which sibling belongs to which family. There...

Episode 4: How to Grip Your Readers from the Start of Your Story

 In these difficult days, children all over the world so badly need to hear the good news of Jesus. Every child is precious. If your story only touches one or two, wouldn't it be worth it?

So, on to today’s writing tip:

If we want to draw readers into our story, we need a great beginning. If we can make our readers' mouths drop open with a great opening paragraph, and if they love the first chapter, we have a good chance that we will keep them for the rest of the...