I recently did a talk to secondary schoolers about creative writing. I wanted to tell them a little about structuring a satisfying story and about building compelling characters. But what I wanted to get across to them more than anything was the importance – and the joy – of finding their own voices.
On Friday 16 March, I drove my hire car into the visitors’ car park at Colyton Grammar School and parked next to the classroom where – around 25 years earlier – my friends and I spent break times firing as many paper aeroplanes as we could out the window. I took a tour of the school – the facilities staggering compared to my day – and kept quiet about all the detentions I’d had in the re-kitted classrooms.