Useful advice - Brendan Frank, Year 7

This World Book Day Year 7 were lucky enough to have the brilliant author Jon Robinson come in and talk to us.

 Jon Robinson is a very successful author and his main books are Nowhere and Anywhere. Jon told us he was very young when he started writing stories - about our age. The first book he ever wrote was a homework that his English teacher set him over Christmas. It was to write a Christmas story: the teacher was expecting a happy ending, however Jon wrote a gory story. He said it takes a long time to publish a book, it took him eight years to finally publish his book Nowhere in 2013.

Then he started giving us tips on writing a creative story. He told us that creativity was good and that everyone had an imagination and that creation has a snowball effect: once you have an idea, lots of ideas start to come to your brain. He asked what we could do with a paper clip apart from clipping paper together. There was a range of ideas from a pick lock to a decoration for your cat’s tail. He also asked us to describe an imaginary place including what it smelt like or if it was in the future or the past, as this is often how authors begin their stories.

Feeding back - Brendan Frank, Year 7

Jon went on to talk about similes and metaphors and how that gives a picture of what is happening in the story; for example how to describe a sound in order to catch the reader's imagination. He put our skills to the test by getting us to write about a boat at sea during the storm and try to apply the techniques we had just learnt.

After that Jon explained to us how showing is better than telling and he gave us this example: James was in a fight, and James had a ripped shirt blood stains on his knuckles and sweat dripping from his nose. He then told us to write about being lost in the woods and showing how we felt and not telling how we felt. The last two tips he gave us were that readers like an underdog and to try and include underdogs when writing the stories, as well as to use conflict as a device to engage the reader.

I really enjoyed this experience, I learned a lot and it was very cool to have a real and successful author talking to us.