Nicola Davies: Some things to think about to help you write about winter

Published on: 10 December 2018 Author: Nicola Davies

Get seasonal writing tips for children from the fabulous author and poet Nicola Davies, who is also our Writer in Residence.

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It’s winter, there’s no denying it now.

The last apple fell off the tree in the garden at the weekend and the wind has stripped most of the leaves too. This morning, it's grey and dull. But there’s still lots to see out of my window.

There’s a flock of rooks in the field (53 of them, I counted) behind my writing hut, dotted about the grass poking their long beaks hopefully into the turf. A little gangof starlings is running about like a comedy animation. A mole has been busy in the night and there’s a spiral of brown mounds where he’s pushed the earth up to the surface while he dug
some new tunnels.

The colours have turned from orange and red and gold, to soft brown, fuzzy green, and misty blue. Everything looks a bit smudged this morning, as if someone had been trying to rub the landscape out and start again. Which is kind of what happens at this time of year: everything is thrown away to be recycled and used again next year.

It makes me think of my mum, unpicking the old woolly jerseys that I’d grown out of, rolling up the wool into a ball, to knit it into something different. Nature unravels things at this time of year to knit them up into something again next year.

So with that idea in mind, here are some things to think about to get you writing.

'This piece of landscape-as-fabric'



Start by thinking of the natural world as a carpet, a tapestry, a piece of knitting or woven fabric – or even some item of clothing (have you ever had a homemade jersey or hat or any item of clothing? Who made it? When? Did you like it?).

Then think about what’s happening to this piece of landscape-as-fabric; wind and cold and rain are making it come apart (how? What verbs could you use here?). 

But then, what will happen in the spring? What will be re-made and how?

Have a go at this writing task

The cold/wind/rain is/are

Unpicking
Unravelling
Undoing
Unbuttoning
Unzipping

the

fabric
pattern
warp
weft
tapestry
embroidery

turning it to

scraps
threads
fragments
patchwork

But the spring light and warmth will

weave
knit
embroider
sew

and turn it all into? What?

Your turn to think now!

More about Nicola Davies' time as Writer in Residence


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Writer in Residence

Our current Writer in Residence is Candy Gourlay, who is writing blogs, running competitions and giving us her unique perspective on the world of children's books.

Find out what she's been up to