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Author Kenneth Oppel talks to Year 7 and 8

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Canadian author, Kenneth Oppel, gave two online talks last week to our pupils in Year 7 and 8. He talked about his book Inkling which has been shortlisted for the Trinity Schools Book Awards 2021, and answered questions submitted by the pupils.

Kenneth has published many books, which have been some of the most popular in the CLS Library.

Oppel talked about having often brainstorming sessions to gather his best thoughts into his 'Book of ideas'. Most of his main ideas for new book Inkling originated from his own experiences and he found the easiest parts to write were the parts lifted from his own life.

 There were many inspirational tips from Kenneth, however, there were three main pieces of advice which we thought stood out to the pupils: 

  •  Keep a notebook

Oppel would keep an “imaginative storehouse” with him at all times to collect ideas from his life that he thought were interesting and could grow into ideas for future stories. He first had the idea for Inkling ten years before publishing the final edition. Inkling was originally an idea for a graphic novel but was later altered to become a fully-fledged story.

  • Don’t expect it to be perfect the first time

It is very important for you to know that it is okay to fail. Who said that writing a book was easy? Writing is like a habit which will be developed as you become more experienced. Oppel gave the advice: “Just keep doing what you are doing, and everything will fit.”

  • Finish something small first, then think bigger

Do not try to write a two hundred page book on your first try. Oppel's advice was to “try to make a two-page story, then a five-page story and feel the accomplishment”. 

A huge thanks to Kenneth Oppen for taking the time to speak to our pupils and for giving them tips and tricks to get them started on their own writing journey. 

Writing is like a habit which will be developed as you become more experienced.
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