I have bravely gone where a Sarah Broadley has never gone before – I have jumped into middle grade and left my fluffy picture books comforting themselves in the wake of my furious and deadly scribbling. I have started writing for bigger kids!

Yes, they may well be taller than me, which wouldn’t be difficult, but my picture books have taken a well deserved break from my prodding and poking and I have to say it has been a refreshing change.

I have limited patience and the first couple of weeks were torture. I just wasn’t progressing with it as fast as I thought I would so I just kept writing and writing and writing. Get it all down and then edit, I shouted at myself regularly but that didn’t always work. Maybe I need to plan it out but I kind of love the way a story tells YOU where it needs to go rather than the other way round.

Coffee and biscuits…may not be the answer but they have helped get me past the writer’s block, the feelings of doubt, the ‘why oh why did I start this’ and I think I am nearly at the end of what has been a long road  – well, with one of my stories anyway.

I seem to like a slow intro into the characters and then I set a meandering pace, resembling that of a tortoise that has hundreds of years to complete its voyage of discovery. Except I  don’t have hundreds of years so I need to get a move on!

Anyway, there I was, minding my own editing business and I have come to the conclusion that when I write prose, it appears that I need to completely ignore the first Chapter I have slaved over for an unnecessary amount of time and start the book from Chapter 2. Chapter 2, what? Yes, go on, have a look. Would your chapter 2 be a better start to the story? You have settled into the zone, you are well on the way to introducing more and more characters to your reader and you are settling in for the night to write your story. What better place to get them hooked?

I have looked at the novels I have started so far and it works for all of them! So, have a look at your own WIP’s and see what you think? It can’t hurt, can it?

As the amazing author, Sara Grant once told me… “if your first sentence doesn’t make me want to read on, then I close the book”.

Don’t make them close the book, make them stay awake all night to finish it.




  1. Thank you Frances. There’s no stopping me now, I feel this year has been the best year yet for learning the craft and using it on my MS. Looking forward to next year!

  2. Hello Sarah. Love the new site. I still think of our PB retreat weekend and how much we learned then, and the fabuloso, clever people we met. 🙂 I am glad to hear you have side-shifted and not disappeared! Much luck with the writing for taller-than-thou cheeky chippers!

  3. Author

    Hi David, looking back at my WIP, I notice that I start by writing a lot about things that really aren’t necessary at that point in the story. I think it’s just my way of bedding in and once I get past the first hurdle I settle in and the writing flows much easier. Who know’s where it might take us though!

  4. That’s a really ‘novel’ approach Sarah. Not one I’d have considered though some people suggest starting mine from the last chapter so they’re shorter…savages.
    Starting from Chapter 2 might wok, but won’t there be some confusion about your hero who the readers will now know nothing about. lol
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx