I recently received an email from Hayley, a 12 y.o. girl who, to her credit, is writing a historical novel for a creative writing competition. She wanted some advice about researching medieval time, and about writing in general. Based on her questions and my answers, I’m about to put a new page on my website with the title above. All you budding authors might like to check it out, particularly in so far as research goes. For more general writing information, go to the ‘writing tips’ page.
One of Hayley’s questions was about copying ideas. There is no copyright on ideas but, obviously, it becomes plagiarism if you stick too closely to the original – you have to be very careful not to do that. Check the new page for an example of using someone else’s idea as a springboard to your own imagination, as I did with The Janna Mysteries.
Finally, if you have other questions that haven’t been addressed, feel free to ask me through either my blog or the email contact link on my website, and I’ll try to answer them for you.
Writing is so much fun. Getting into another time and place and into someone else’s head, and following their journey with them, is so exciting. A famous author once said ‘I write to know what I think’, and that is so true. I find, through my characters, that I wrestle with all sorts of big and small questions – everything from ‘how would I react in that situation’ (and the answer is I’m not nearly as courageous as Janna is) to: what do I truly believe – about life, about society, about family, about friendship, about God, about the universe? In a way, Janna’s journey is my journey, and the further I (we) travel, the more I realise there is to learn!
I wish Hayley well with her writing and good luck in the competition. There are heaps of writing competitions for students and it’s a really good idea, if you enjoy writing stories, to challenge yourself and give one a go. Good luck!

1 Comment

  1. Hello. I am the older (just) sister of Hayley, the 12 year old who contacted you. Funnily enough I was the one that got into the JM first and then consistently told her to read them. I, too (again, funnily enough ;]) am writing a short story for a competition – or at least trying to. Instead, I wanted to write about the Lady of Shallot with subtle, indirect references. I am limited to about 700 words. The reason I am posting this I suppose is to ask you, Felicity, what moment in time this ‘legend’ is based on? I would also apprecitate if perhaps you could throw in a couple of tips. :)I would also like to congratulate you for 3 stunning, beautifully and comfortably written book. It really is a treasure and I am sure many of us eagerly await the next book.
    Thankyou very much.
    Aged 13

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