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6 August 2006 ·

Visiting Mt Scopus

On Monday I visited Mt Scopus junior campus to do workshops with Year 3’s. What a great day! We wrote a story together in each class, and it was so much fun to see imaginations at work and the different ideas everyone came up with. I started them all with the same half sentence, but the three stories were wildly different. I can’t wait to see the final versions, because they’ve promised to send me them to me when each class is done.

It was also fantastic to see the kids starting in on editing even while we were writing, because good writing is much more about how you work your idea out than just having a great idea to start with. So when a plot idea came up part way through the story, we went back and changed the first sentence, or whichever one needed to change, so that it led into the new idea.

And editing is exactly what I’m doing now, on the Nim’s Island sequel. Just like the kids, I’ve finally sorted out a plot problem nearly at the end of the book, which will now mean going back and seeding its clues throughout the book. At least, I hope I’ve got it sorted out – I won’t know for sure till I write it today!

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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio