Writing a novel – a writer’s journal part 8

Writing Hannah: on writing for children by Libby Gleeson

This is an unusual writing book. It is not your usual run-of-the-mill writing book. While the Australian author Libby Gleeson does deal in passing with various aspects of writing – structure, style, dialogue, rewriting and so on – her prime focus is on the actual process of writing a short novel for young children; a bit like I am attempting to do in this series of articles. One major focus was how her novel fitted into being the third in a series featuring Hannah, the main character. My focus is purely on a stand alone book – or will I turn it into a series too? Mmmm – food for thought!

In a very real sense, her book is very similar to what I am attempting to do on this blog, documenting the process of writing a novel. In part she is also teaching other writers how to write a novel. She includes discussions (with herself) on the many decisions a writer needs to make along the way. She explains why she did certain things with her novel and these are elements other writers can be well advised to follow.

On the other hand, it is more than an instruction and teaching book about writing: it takes the reader on a journey of discovery with the author. We are taken along the pathway which highlights the author’s thinking and writing process.

Fascinating reading.


Gleeson, L, 1999: Writing Hannah: on writing for children. Hale and Ironmonger, Alexandria, N.S.W.

Further reading in this series:

  • Writing a novel – a series of articles about how I went about writing a novel.