Yesterday’s writing workshop was abuzz with opposites. A fiery, lightning-thrower met an intuitive, listening water woman. A nature-lover and city-lover teamed up to build a sanctuary to meet both of their needs. A traditional, formal conversationalist met a modern-speaking short-phrase-thrower and a woman who spoke ‘like hazel’ entered the scene. Pink met Green, all in the world of stories.

What can we do with opposite characters in our stories?

Opposites like Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter can bring tension into the plot. Or those with opposite characteristics can team up together to combine skills. …

A supermoon. An eclipse. Tornadoes, sand storms, tidal waves.
These amazing natural events can spice up a story. They increase the tension, the action, and can allow the story to change.
I like to think about what my characters would do in the face of a natural event. How would they react?
A storm can reveal the bravery of a character, or fear. A full moon can draw out powers. Shooting stars allow for wishes to be revealed.

Yesterday at Story Club, held at the fun and friendly Thrive cafe, we explored voices.

Pick a character. What sorts of things do they say?

A character’s voice can make them more real, standing out from other characters. The way they speak, what they say. The voice reflects the personality and shows the character’s unique perspective on the world.

For example, our pastry chef in the photo above tends to comment about the latest flavour he’s tried. Or how a building looks like a wedding cake. Or how he’s ill after tasting 100 pastries at a competition he was judging.

And Jade, our forest friend, leans out from the trees…

The other day, I hosted a young writer’s workshop at the wonderful Thrive cafe. All food and drink plant-based, woohoo! We focused on world building, with questions like what is the weather like in our world? Does magic exist? If so, what are the rules of magic?

The more we know our story world, whether it be a real place or fantasy, the stronger our story will be.

In this exercise, Beatrice A Tale of Journeys already shows a good knowledge of her story world(s)! The questions helped her find out what story research to do next — ie what plants, if any, were in the Sahara during the time of ancient Egypt?

Writing Tips - Character Arcs

A great character changes throughout a story.
We explored character arcs in my Thursday Story Club for young writers at Thrive cafe.

Perfect place for creating stories — the Thrive Hive

Today I had the fun of holding a Story Club for young writers. I loved the venue- the Hive at Thrive cafe, Cambridge.

Knowing our characters strengthens our stories. They become more real to the reader. We can dream about our character, draw them, create them out of clay, write about them — there are lots of ways to get to know them so they come alive in our stories. I presented the following questions to get to know our main character (and side characters too) better. …

I really enjoyed the magical atmosphere when Eira meets the fairies. I also liked the unexpected twists ... who has magic, who doesn’t? Who is helpful, who wants power? A lot is conveyed in this whimsical short story.

Luck was on my side this weekend. I preordered Emmy Levels Up from Waterstones … and it was delivered yesterday. It’s not even released yet, officially. How did that happen? (Emmy might say it was a magical anti-mulch time travel spell — you will understand if you read the book).

New Book!

I read it late into the night, not able to put it down. I enjoyed the creative, fun and fast-paced game element, as I expected. I didn’t expect to be so moved by it. Three plots are seamlessly woven together. The fun, inventive, adventurous game, the tensions at school as…

My inner preteen has been given a gift. I just got the fifth and last book in this middle grade adventure series — The Last Olympian. I cannot wait to start reading. At the same time, I’m waiting until I have a good stretch of time ahead of me. Once I pick it up, I will not be able to put it down, if it’s like the four other Percy Jackson books.

Percy Jackson is half boy, half god, and his endless adventures are creative, quick-paced and full of heart. Characters are based on greek myths. Amazingly, I’ve actually learned more about the greek gods in these novels than I ever managed to absorb at school!

I would recommend this high-action, creative adventure series.

If you were to write a book in a day, what would it be about? Story Stringers set their book, Chasing Rainbows, in a classroom, observatory and opal mine, covering earth and sky. I loved the offbeat element of the cat breeder and rainbow-inspired characters. Themes in this book are friendship, acceptance and what it means to be home.

A book created in one day.

An amazing project in Australia opens this competition to young writers and supports children in hospitals with the resulting wonderful tales that emerge.

Find out more about ‘Write a Book in a Day’ and/or read Chasing Rainbows, which won the national competition, here:

Giulietta M Spudich

I am a children’s author and I love coffee. My books have themes of strong friendship, nature and magic. Find me and my books at

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