Music Makers

A little magic can take you a long way.” 

“Don’t gobblefunk around with words.” 

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
Roald Dahl

One of the delights of writing my children’s novel has been the great joy of discovering new authors that I absolutely love. For me, one of these treasured scribes has been Roald Dahl. Today, September 13 is his birthday—he was born in 1916. A prolific author, he penned everything from adult mysteries to children’s classics like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda (See Chocolate Lover).

Over the years, 100 million copies of this beloved author’s books have flown off the shelves in 50 languages. Roald is considered one of the greatest storytellers for children of the twentieth century.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, includes a pithy extract called “Lucky Break” in which our boy Roald describes how he became a writer. It also offers seven tips on the qualities he thought anyone who wanted to make a living writing fiction:

1. “You should have a lively imagination.”

2. “You should be able to write well. By that I mean you should be able to make a scene come alive in the reader’s mind. Not everybody has this ability. It is a gift and you either have it or you don’t.”

3. “You must have stamina. In other words, you must be able to stick to what you are doing and never give up for hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month.”

4. “You must be a perfectionist. That means you must never be satisfied with what you have written until you have rewritten it again and again, making it as good as you possibly can.” Roald took his own advice: He rewrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory six times and dumped months of work on Matilda and started over again because he felt the story wasn’t working.

5. “You must have strong self-discipline. You are working alone. No one is employing you. No one is around to give you the sack if you don’t turn up for work, or to tick you off if you start slacking.”

6. “It helps a lot if you have a keen sense of humour. This is not essential when writing for grown-ups, but fore children, it’s vital.”

7. “You must have a degree of humility. The writer who thinks that his work is marvelous is heading for trouble.”

Sage advice from a master storyteller. Let’s be music makers! Write on!

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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