Thursday, September 29, 2016

LION CITY ADVENTURES _____ How to turn a simple folk tale into a story that sparkles & other wonderful treats for fans

LION CITY ADVENTURES is our award-winning series for young readers, about a society of children dedicated to exploring Singapore, making new friends and solving mysteries. We’ve published three books so far: LION CITY ADVENTURES, SECRETS OF THE HEARTLANDS and ISLAND OF LEGENDS. You can find out more about this series here, here and here. As part of our 2016 fan club special, I recently put up a set of thirteen new posts on our Medium website to explain the creative inspiration behind the books, the story development process, the publishing journey, etc. You’ll find the full list of posts below, with all the links of course. Hope you enjoy reading them, and please do share these with any friends who might want to write their own stories for children too. I’ve included one of the posts here, just to give you a taste of what's in store. Thank you for your enthusiastic support all this time. Take care and happy reading!

— D

NOTE: If you run a blog or website — about children's books, writing, parenting or something related — and you feel that your readers might enjoy any of these articles, you have my permission to post them. Please do credit DON BOSCO/SUPER COOL BOOKS and include a link back here.


Every successful writer has a unique voice. A writing style that you can recognise. A creative and artistic signature. It’s made up of many things — vocabulary, the rhythm of the words, the types of descriptions, the way the setting is created, the way the characters are introduced and developed, even the way you add the funny parts.

Once you find your voice, once you figure out your own unique way of writing about all these things, that’s when your best work comes out of you. You no longer spend your time struggling to string together generic phrases and stock sentences. Instead, you just allow your storytelling voice to take over. The result is that your stories sparkle. Your books are special. What a joy that is.

But how do you find your voice? Here’s a simple tip.

Take a legend or folk tale, something you’re familiar with, something that you’re sure others will also know well. See how you might rewrite this in your own style.

Ask yourself: how would you make the characters in the legend more interesting, and also more fascinating? How would you tweak the story events to make them more gripping? To create a greater sense of drama?

How would you bring out the sparkle and mystery and adventure, so that readers get lost in your telling, and they start to realise that perhaps they might even enjoy your version the best?

This is what I did with the legends of Singapore for the third Lion City Adventures book. You might have already heard about Badang the hero, perhaps the strongest man in Singapore’s history. Well, if you read ISLAND OF LEGENDS you’ll get to enjoy my very own version of this. And also my own version of how the coast of Singapore was once attacked by killer swordfish. And also my version of how some enemies from up north came to attack Singapore many hundreds of years ago but we were saved by a great wall that protected the city.

As a writer, I believe that the heroes in folk tales and legends are here to inspire us. They make sure that we rise to the challenge and bring out the most exceptional and emotionally resonant ideas that lie within us. When we create from the best of our ability, like this, that’s when we truly discover our creative potential, and that’s how memorable stories are written.

It’s quite a simple process, once you’re willing to try it. You’ll be inspired to work on your own stories even more. You’ll be able to share your art with all of us. Can you imagine how exciting that feels?

Enjoy these legends and pass on the experience to others if you can, the way these stories have been shared with you. Stories come to life when they bring us together like this.

Write your own legends. Or draw them. Or create songs about them. The Lion City Adventuring Club would be so proud of you.


NOTE: If you run a blog or website — about children's books, writing, parenting or something related — and you feel that your readers might enjoy any of these articles, you have my permission to post them. Please do credit DON BOSCO/SUPER COOL BOOKS and include a link back here.

Making Singapore Fun And Fascinating For Young Readers And Their Parents

10 Things You Almost Never Knew About The Author Don Bosco

A Short But Still Thrilling History Of The Lion City Adventuring Club

How To Impress Your Children With Stories

Why Some Children’s Books Can Really Make You Smile

How We Created Story Puzzles To Help Children Read More

A Story Kingdom For The Young Fans

Hooray For A Happy Childhood

Why Children Need Books Filled With Love And Dreams

The Art Of Legendary Parenting

How To Turn A Simple Folk Tale Into A Story That Sparkles

Superheroes Of The Lion City

Story Puzzle: Ethan And The Clocks

. . . . . . . . . .

SECRETS OF THE HEARTLANDS (Lion City Adventures, Book 2) has been nominated for this year's award. Please take some time to vote for your favourite books, and you might win a $50 voucher plus 1 year Popular card membership. For readers in Singapore only.

Vote and win here: