Sunday, September 19, 2010

Writing Advice/Get That First Draft Out by Arthur Slade

 Many years ago, when I began reviewing for the professional print book review journals (some which are sadly no longer around), I remember being assigned a first book from Canadian author. As a reader interested in mythology and Iceland, I remember being intrigued by the prospect of this book called DRAUGR. Yet, what I remember most is that DRAUGR proved to be a satisfying, well-plotted middle grade adventure story and the author -- quite talented. Of course, I quickly picked up THE HAUNTING OF DRANG ISLAND and THE LOKI WOLF. Fifteen books later (including DUST, TRIBES and now THE HUNCHBACK ASSIGNMENTS), I am pleased to now have Arthur Slade here as my Guest Blogger!

Here, Arthur shares advice for success...

Writing Advice--Get That First Draft Out by Arthur Slade

One of the difficulties about being writers is that we often daydream--it’s our job. But sometimes it becomes procrastination. So when you have a limited amount of time to write just take out an egg timer and set it to twenty minutes (or whatever time period you prefer). Promise yourself that you will write as quickly as possible without pausing to think (or daydream) and you won’t stop until you hear that bell ring. Even if your house is on fire. There’s something very motivating about the “tick tick tick” of the clock. Don’t worry if what you’ve written in that time isn’t perfect, that’s what rewriting is for. This is just a way to get that first bit of writing down and get your creative juices flowing. You can turn your prose into gold when you rewrite.

Arthur Slade is the author of fifteen book for children.
He has published several novels for young readers, including The Hunchback Assignments; Jolted: Newton Starker’s Rules for Survival; Megiddo’s Shadow; Tribes; and Dust, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature. He lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

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His latest novel is The Dark Deeps, the second book in
The Hunchback Assignments series. About the Dark Deeps:

Transforming his appearance and stealing secret documents from the French is all in a day’s work for fourteen-year-old Modo, a British secret agent. But his latest mission—to uncover the underwater mystery of something called the Ictíneo—seems impossible. There are rumors of a sea monster and a fish as big as a ship. French spies are after it, and Mr. Socrates, Modo’s master, wants to find it first. Modo and his fellow secret agent, Octavia, begin their mission in New York City, then take a steamship across the North Atlantic. During the voyage, Modo uncovers an astounding secret.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Arthur,

    Nice blog! I loved Dust, and also Megiddo's Shadow. I'll be looking for more of your books. I edit a lot of YA fiction, and I love to read it, too! (Just never grew up, I guess!)

    I, too, write a blog with advice and tips for fiction writers. If anyone wants to check it out, it's at

    Jodie :-)