Tag Archives: new zealand book week

The definitive guide to writing by Roald Dahl

It’s always a highlight speaking at schools during Book Week. This week I was invited to Mt Eden Normal Primary and Kelvin Rd School in Papakura. The kids were awesome, crude, funny and polite. Before I read my story The Dog That Ate The Bathroom I asked what goodies their own dogs had brought home. Bras. Sausages. A cat. The list went on. My daughter recently wrote a story called Cinderella’s Bad Day whereby the poor woman dies every day in a myriad of ways. Shot by a creepy hobo. Killed in a rabbit invasion. Picked up by an Enderman and dropped into hot lava and eaten by robotic crocodiles. Every time I thought a particular death might be too graphic the kids squealed with delight.

It reminded me of a list Roald Dahl’s list of what children love:

Being spooked

Action

Treasure

Magic

Suspense

Ghosts

Chocolates, toys, money

Being made to giggle

Eccentricity

Monsters

Unorthodox methods

Marvellous/funny/incredible places

New inventions

Secret information

Time travel

Seeing the villain meet a grisly death

They love a hero and love a hero to be a winner

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