Home Teachers and Librarians Author Visits Presentation 2 - How A Book is Made

Presentation 2 - How A Book is Made

E-mail Print PDF

Presentation 2

From Brainwave to Book!



This presentation can be short and simple for younger children or longer and in depth for older pupils.

All school-children know what a book is.  Most children know that someone sits down, picks up a pen or presses a keyboard, and writes it, but some don't!   If they do, they often think that writers are unusual people, not like them at all.  They're extraordinarily clever people who conjure up stories, write them rapidly and become millionaires!  Children think they can't do it, because they're not clever enough. I try to convince them that they can write stories!  I try to demystify the process, conveying its excitement, but also the effort that goes into it. I take them through the process from idea to book, concentrating on my role as a writer, but acknowledging the work of the book creation team. I show as much as tell, bringing drafts, background materials, proofs etc.   I relate what I say to one or more of my books. 

1.  IDEAS - Brain waves - where they come from: real life, other books, imagination

  I share with them my Writing Recipe:

 Take some real life.  Add some what if?

2.  PLAN            - if you can.

                           (You can also ‘grow’ stories but need to be aware of story structure.)

                        I will share my story mountain,

                         - Remember Beginning.  Middle.  End.

3.  WRITE       - once, twice, three times, more? 

DRAFTS - I show them mine!

                        Making mistakes - I show them mine!


4. Making it better - how?

                        i) READ IT THROUGH aloud if possible.

ii) self-edit

iii) co-edit

- get someone to read your script.

This can be a friend, a family member or a teacher.


NB The writer's job is to get the story in your head into a reader's head.

The co-editor’s job is to show you where you've succeeded and where you haven't.

Questions to ask your co-editor:

-WHAT happens? What is my PLOT?)

WHERE does it happen? What is my SETTING?

WHO does it happen to? CHARACTERS?

If your reader can’t answer these questions you must make things clearer.

(See my website for further advice on editing)  


I do some self-editing as I write and re-write drafts. I often share work with a trusted friend and we co-edit. I then give my work to an EDITOR, who edits even more, commenting on my work and usually asking for improvements/changes. 

I show an edited script.

(Pupils give their work to a TEACHER. I relate the roles of teacher and editor. I often have to do my work again!)


When the editor approves and accepts my script s/he gets it typeset and returns the proofs to me for checking. I have to read through very carefully looking and correcting the printer’s mistakes! This is also my last chance to make changes so I think very carefully about the words I’ve chosen.

The editor may send me a second set of proofs for re-checking.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 August 2016 10:46 )