Story telling

Top Five Tips for Telling Sita Brahmachari’s Stories | Children’s books

No story has ever been written without me. I can belong to anyone, anywhere. I have no borders. I don’t have any rules. I am free to travel wherever I want. What am I?

Doodlers, dreamers, artists, musicians, songwriters, circus performers, sculptors and dancers are all characters in my books for a reason… They might not all be A * students , but they share the most important of all ingredients – imagination.

Very young children have no problem using it. A nursery nurse once gave me a “book” written by my son. When I opened it I found line after line of scribbles. At the bottom of the page, the professor had recorded what he said when he “wrote”. The story had great animal characters, a wild and wonderful plot and setting, a beginning, a middle and an end. He was already a storyteller and yet he couldn’t form a single letter.

The power of storytelling comes before words… Learning to write is of course important but sometimes the more we realize what we should and should not do when we write, the harder it is to appeal. to our imagination. Here are some tips I use in creative writing workshops and at my own desk to free the mind that lets my imagination fly… I call it my kite mind.

Tip 1: let in chance

In the words of Pat Print, the writing tutor in my book Artichoke hearts : “Let chance in”. If your school diary is covered in doodles (see the covers of my books!)

Take a blank page and start doodling. Write and draw whatever comes to mind. Don’t censor yourself. When you’re done, take a look at your page and write a paragraph describing “What’s on my mind.” Make a book of all those doodle pages and descriptions… mine lead me to my stories.

Tip 2: write a dream book

If you have vivid dreams, the kind of dreams that follow you from night to day, keep a dream book by your bed. When you wake up, write down your dream right away. Don’t think about grammar, spelling, or structure. Don’t even stop to think, just write down your dream and let all the images, feelings, and moods flow in. No matter if that doesn’t make sense, dreams rarely do! When you’re done, leave your book by your bed and see what dream images play in your mind during the day.

At night, re-read your dream. Write at the bottom of the page… I think this dream was about…

I do this for all my characters …

In Artichoke hearts Mira dreams of her grandmother’s coffin paintings coming to life. In Jasmine sky the ghost of his grandfather appears to him in an abandoned house. In Kite spirit Kite dreams that her best friend Dawn comes back to life as an owl to talk to her.
Build a dream book… You will find that some of the recurring themes and images from your dreams are reflected in your stories.

Tip 3: write a journal

You can write in it as much or as little as you want, but the real point of a journal is that you only write it for yourself and therefore you are totally free to let your attention and imagination wander, in exploring the “what ifs” as well as the “what is”. Reviewing old diaries is a good way to track the development of your voice as a writer, how it grows and changes over time.
I kept diaries all my childhood and it is probably no accident that my first novel Artichoke hearts was written in journal form. I used elements of my own 12 year old voice for Mira.

Tip 4: Find a meaningful object

Look around in your room / house. Find something that means a lot to you. In my books, these objects have been: a stone with a hole, an artichoke heart charm, a kingfisher sculpture and a handmade kite. Look at the object and imagine that it has a voice. Let him tell you that this is the story …

I like to start with “I am not just any old man… (sculpture, charm, kite…) I am the charm which holds the secrets of the heart…”

Tip 5: Keep travel diaries / make scrapbooking albums

I started writing travel diaries when I was 10 years old. Small recordings of places I had been to that I found interesting. Some scenes from Jasmine sky were written when I first visited India as a child.
Sometimes people tell me “I’m really not going anywhere” so I give them this “My Street” observation exercise that I do every day.

Walk your street (take no more than five minutes) noting everything you see, hear, smell, touch, observe… How many things were new to you? For a week, do the same exercise, but the rule is that you cannot record the same thing twice. The story of my street and what I notice is never the same.

Do this exercise wherever you go … try to capture the places that feed your imagination … an air raid shelter in a wild forest where I walk my dog ​​has become the setting for my next book Red Leaves.

I keep daydreaming and doodle books, dream recordings, travel diaries, and talking symbols for all the characters in my books. If some of these tips sound a bit like Pat Print, it’s because she and I share a passion… (not holey cardigans, muddy walking boots, or climbing trees – although I’ve been associated with all three. !) But to give free rein to the imagination by letting chance in and freeing the mind of the kite.

The Heart of the Kite Spirit – vidéo

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Hidden among the textures of moss and stone are the symbols at the heart of Kite Spirit. Enter and join the author on a journey to discover the treasures of inspiration and imagination in this astonishing video. Listen to the atmospheric sounds and moods of the elements, watch the movie Kite Spirit, relax in a cocoon as you listen to the story through headphones, look for clues on the writer’s desk, search for hidden spaces under tents, follow a sculptural path… then use this sensory world to inspire your own writing and let your creative spirit fly.

Sita Brahmachari is a designer at Festival of ephemeral stories, a children’s storytelling festival with a touch of originality. It brings books and stories to life in spectacular fashion with a program rich in imaginative events, activities and artwork created especially for Pop Up by writers, illustrators, poets and storytellers.

This world-class free event for children of all ages will take place at Ironbridge Gorge, Telford, Shropshire (April 19), High House Production Park, Purfleet, Essex (May 3) and Swiss Cottage Center, London (July 12 and 13) , where Sita will recreate the landscape from her award-winning book Kite Spirit. Know everything about it pop-up.org.uk/festival.