Writing Trick 1: OSM

Man holding book

Often I get asked, “Oi, mister! How do I stop people falling asleep when their reading my writing?”
And I reply, “My name’s not Oi Mister.” Then I tell them about Writing Tricks. I’m going to introduce a few of them here.

1) Onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is the sound things make. It’s how a writer lets reader know what a sound is exactly like. Common ones are things like: crash! bang! wallop!
But the real fun happens when you make some up of your own, such as Splurrgting!
That’s not all. You can play around with how they look on the page and so how the sound was made:

splurrgtingsmalltobig
Here the sound is going from quiet to loud as if someone is getting more and more annoyed

splurrgtingbigtosmall
and here it is like they were being noisy and were then told to quieten down. Both great fun and when a writer is having fun so is their reader.

2) Simile. Similes help a writer describe what something is like to a reader by describing something it is similar to with regards shape, colour, smell, size, behaviour, texture…Basically saying one thing is like something else.
You use the word like or as in a simile.
The best similes often match the genre or book type you are writing in. For example, these wouldn’t be out of place in a horror:

the ghost was as white as a bag of bones

the spirit’s face was pale  like bone

Although you can have fun writing unexpected similes:

The princess flicked her golden hair around her face as beautiful as a slug.

3) Metaphors. Metaphors are very similar to similes in that they help a writer decribe something to make it clearer to the reader. The key difference here is you are not saying something is like something else but it is something else.

A simple example is this:
the man ate like a pig  (Simile)
the man was a pig eating (Metaphor)

More complicated:
his eyes burned like flame (Simile)
his grin with eyes of flame 
(Metaphor)

So next time you are writing, why not try some of these tricks out but remember the most important thing: have fun with your writing and your reader will too.

 

POEM: the day the school was shut

shut school

the caretaker lost his broom
did a cartwheel
across the classroom
the day the school was shut

the school PA charged the computer
went on Dateline
looking for a suitor
the day the school was shut

the teachers began to sing
skipping around
in a great ring
the day the school was shut

the cook threw the potato smash
juggled the plates
watched them crash
the day the school was shut

the parents all began to scream
ran out the doors
looking for ice-cream
the day the school was shut

the school nurse poured out  lotion
skidded across the floor
causing a commotion
the day the school was shut

the Head Teacher stroked his wig
hopped on a table
and did a jig
the day the school was shut

POEM: This is just to say…

pic of paper

I have broken
the vase
that was in
the living room

and which
you definitely
were giving
to your mother

Forgive me
it was ugly
so lumpy
and brown.

This poem is based on This is just to say… by William Carlos Williams.
Other poems and their structures can often provide inspiration for writing. Why not check his poem out here https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56159/this-is-just-to-say and give it a go yourself.

 

 

POEM: My Sister Loves Worms

Girl with wormA

My sister loves worms
She loves how they wiggle
My sister loves worms
She loves how they jiggle
My sister loves worms
Wherever they are found
My sister loves worms
Under muddy ground
My sister loves worms
On her comfy bed
My sister loves worms
On her silky head
My sister loves worms
Sat on our telly
My sister loves worms
Squirming in her belly

After The Launch

 

Well, well, well the brilliant book launch went ahead smoothly and there was a good gathering of parents, children and teachers to hear my little speech and then extracts from the book, Wishbone Billy. The nice people of Big Green Bookshop are stocking the book and sales have gone well with little left of the original stock.

If you can’ t get to the shop and want a copy, the book is available on Amazon for only £4.99 and has received some great reviews:

Fantastic read for primary aged and young teens. Well-paced Dahlesque adventures will keep the kids gripped.   Doug

Great read. We loved it.   Andre

A fantastic read for children. Both my kids loved it. We all particularly enjoyed the scene with the cow and the bedroom scene with Cuddles is hilarious. Where’s the next book?   JL

What’s it about?
Well, it’s a  non-stop, edge of your seat ride with Billy on his magical journey in search of new, better parents. Have your parents ever annoyed you? Have they ever done something you could never forgive? Well, Billy has annoying parents. In fact, he has the worse parents IN THE WORLD! They are lazy, selfish and cruel. His life is terrible. What can save him? One day, something magical happens: Billy gets a wishbone and wishes for new parents. But as everybody knows: you better be careful what you wish for. This book is full of eccentric, zany characters that will have you laughing out loud.

If you want to get a taste of the book, the first few chapters are on here.