- The theme for National Poetry Day in 2010 was ‘Home’. If you’d like to read some of the poems that were written for the occasion, click here.
2. Adverbs. The usual advice with adverbs is: use them sparingly (oops, there’s one!). Usually a strong verb will do the job of an adverb much more effectively. For example, ‘John said, loudly’, could become ‘John yelled’, or ‘Sue walked quickly’ could become ‘Sue marched’, or ‘strode’, or ‘skipped’, or ‘darted’ or ‘raced’, depending on exactly how she was walking.
A good way of spotting the adverbs in your writing, if you’re using a PC, is to ‘search’ for ‘ly’ in the document (most adverbs end in ‘ly’). Then highlight all the adverbs it brings up and think about each one. Could you replace it with a strong and precise verb? (I’ve just done this for one of my stories and I was amazed at how many times I used the adjective ‘lovely’ and the adverb ‘suddenly’!)
3. Snowball is a pig in ‘Animal Farm’
4. Pickwick fell through the ice in ‘The Pickwick Papers’
5. Yeats is the poet and dramatist awarded the Nobel Prize in 1923.
6. The answer is a ‘cliche’. You can get away with them in dialogue, because that’s how people speak but otherwise, watch out for them creeping into your writing.
7. Hans Christian Anderson. And you can read the sad little story here
8. Raymond Briggs wrote ‘The Snowman’
9. If you’re writing in the first person, you use the pronoun ‘I’
10. ‘Said-bookisms’. Every writer goes through a stage of thinking they’ve used ‘said’ too often but it’s relatively invisible. Over-the-top dialogue tags (eg: ‘he chortled’, ‘she intoned’) draw attention to themselves and can be unintentionally humorous. So while the odd ‘she whispered’ or ‘he retorted’ is OK, resist the urge to reach for your thesaurus every time you’re writing dialogue. ‘Said’ will do just fine.
11. ‘Twelfth Night’ features the character Malvolio
13. Agatha Christie. She’s sold over 2 billion copies of her books in 44 languages
And the first letter of all those answers spells out ‘HAPPY CHRISTMAS’!