Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Once Upon A Slime: 45 Fun Ways to get Writing Fast

Once Upon A Slime: 45 Fun Ways to get Writing Fast by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton (Pan Macmillan)
PB RRP $12.99
ISBN: 978 1 742 61209 6
Reviewed by Wendy McLean

Suffering from a serious case of writer’s block? Need inspiration? Lack the courage to write? Well Andy Griffith’s and Terry Denton’s latest offering will inspire, entertain, and encourage both young and adult writers alike to write, write, write!
In Once Upon a Slime the lively duo take us on a journey to remind us that writing is fun. As Andy points out early in the book, ‘You don’t have to be a great artist—a great speller—to be able to have a great time with words and pictures.’
Andy has generously shared his own writing journey beginning with a get well (?) card to his father, “I hear you are sick. So turn over the pages and see what you are if you don’t get better.” .This masterpiece was followed by an independent school magazine called Popcorn, which Andy produced using a 40 cent rusty old type writer. Popcorn was full of jokes and funny news articles – the stepping stone to Andy’s adult career as a writer.
The book is divided into 45 chapters as the title suggests, but each chapter contains numerous activities and techniques that will get even the most reluctant of writers to pick up a pen. The book contains jokes, story starters and hilarious examples from Andy’s and Terry’s own books. Readers are encouraged to create stories, lists, poems, fairy tales, comics, and to just enjoy playing with words and pictures—the way Terry and Andy do.
Andy and Terry encourage readers to write their own ‘slimy’ version of fairytale (e.g. Little Green Snotting Hood and Cindersmeller and to write a script for a bum and a head having an argument about who is the most important body part. There are so many ridiculous and wonderful activities for aspiring writers to try.
But this book is not just about words; Terry has included has included plenty of drawing exercises throughout the book to encourage children to create with words and pictures. And just when you think the book is complete, Andy shares the ‘random idea generator’ as a final resource. You will never suffer from writer’s block again!

Although the book comes across as light-hearted and fun, there is a wealth of information on the process of writing and illustrating. It is an excellent resource for any writer (young or old) who needs a little kickstart to get the creative juices flowing.

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