‘I don’t know. It’s different for everyone. There’s no formula or magic bullet.
All I can say is, my work improved – and became much more popular with children – when I wrote the following two phrases on my studio wall –
DON’T BE BORING
DON’T BE PRECIOUS
The first one is self-explanatory. The second relates to my favourite part of writing, which is editing. I find it useful to be single-minded, brutal and unforgiving. If one of my precious ideas gets in the way of a non-boring story, I KILL IT. “Kill your darlings”, as they say in the movie business. And then, if I’m still in doubt, I refer again to phrase one’.