Regardless whether you are writing a novel, a film or even a children’s book, your writing will require a basic structure. And a good story structure should include a background, a climax and a resolution.
These were among the tips shared by children’s book author Lianne Ong, who conducted a workshop at All In! Young Writers Festival 2018.
Several Write for Kindness Workshops were held on March 16, 2018 – the first day of the Festival. Write for Kindness is a national creative writing competition organised by the Singapore Kindness Movement and supported by the All In! Young Writers Festival. The competition aims to promote kindness to primary, secondary, junior college, centralised institute and international school students by creating age-appropriate and culturally relevant children’s stories.
According to the organisers of this year’s All In! Young Writers Festival, the Singapore Kindness Movement has expanded their programming across the three-day event.
STARTING FROM SCRATCH: Participants apply newly acquired skills from the workshop conducted by Ms Lianne Ong (right) as they brainstorm story ideas to be presented to an audience. (PHOTO: Nadiah Mikail Ang Shi Ying)
Ms Ong’s workshop at the Festival taught the participants how to create compelling characters, write more effectively and structure their story. Several exercises, such as a literature review of children’s books, were also carried out during the workshop to aid the participants’ learning.
Participants who attended the workshop said they benefitted from the tips shared by Ms Ong, who is best known for her Stacey & the Museums series which has five titles so far. “The story structure for children’s books I feel are not as different as regular books. But they are explained more clearly and of course are easier to understand,” said Unity Secondary School student Feroz Jaan Malik, 15.
Writing, however, is not the only important element if you want to captivate a younger audience. To create a top-notch children’s book, the illustration must complement the writing.
To that end, illustrator Patrick Yee was also roped in to conduct one of The Write for Kindness Workshops at the Festival. He shared tips on research, creating dummy books to show to clients and the different media materials used in illustration books.
But illustration is not all about coming up with a ‘simple’ drawing. Rather, it is a tedious step by step process, said Mr Yee who is one of Singapore’s leading illustrators as he has worked on more than 155 children’s books.
“They need to come up with the storyline, dummy, sketches, research before they do a final piece of artwork,” said Mr Yee, currently a part-time lecturer in Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Nanyang Polytechnic.
Beyond writing and illustration, a workshop on poetry writing was also conducted by Dr Gwee Li Sui as part of the Write for Kindness Workshops. Other workshops at the three-day Festival include copyediting, basic calligraphy and screenwriting. The All In! Young Writers Festival is being held at *SCAPE till Sunday, March 18.
This news story is written by Nadiah Mikail Ang, a Republic Polytechnic Diploma in Mass Communication student.