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Unleash Your Creative Monster- Andy Jones, ill. by Olaf Falafel

What a beast of a book! And I mean that in a good's brilliant!

Ever since it arrived, it hasn't left the paws/claws of my 7 and 9 year old children, who are having great fun using the ideas and suggestions I side it to create their own 'monster' writing!

As the blurb suggests...'add bite to writing, and give your creativity claws', and 'sharpen your story skills' by using the skills explained within by the brilliant Andy Jones, and enjoy the accompanying illustrations from Olaf Falafel alongside, which make the book a joy to look at and read as well as a useful teaching tool!

I'm thrilled that Walker sent me a copy and asked me to be a part of the blogtour for this book, and that I'm able to share some top tips for writing here with you from none other than Andy Jones himself!

Three Not-Exactly-Rules for Budding Writers

By Andy Jones

There are lots of so-called ‘rules’ for writing, but rules are a lot like eggs. Not everyone likes them, some are bad, and all of them were made to be broken.

So what follows are not exactly rules, they’re more like rather firm suggestions. But if you follow them, I promise your writing will become stronger and more enjoyable. Here are my three ‘Not Exactly Rules’

1. Read. A lot.

2. Have Fun

3. Finish it. Then Fix it.

1. Read. A lot.

Books are food for your creative monster. The more you read, the bigger and stronger your creative monster grows. Read the authors you love, and read authors you’ve never read before. If you’re a girl, ask a boy to recommend something new. And if you’re a boy, ask a girl. Read old books as well as new. Visit the library and pick up something that you normally wouldn’t – who knows, you might love it. And even if you don’t, your creative monster will gobble it up. So read. A lot.

2. Have Fun

I want writing to be fun for you. I want you let your imagination run free, I want your stories to run wild, and I want your pencil to fly across the page. Because when you’re having fun, your stories crackle and fizz and come alive. When you have fun writing a story, the people reading it will have fun too. And isn’t that what this all about? So be unpredictable, be brave, be crazy, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes (that’s where ‘not exactly rule’ number 3 comes in. No matter what anyone else says or thinks, if you’re having fun, you’re doing it right.

3. Finish it. Then Fix it.

There are two parts to writing. The first is the actual writing. Putting one word in front of the other and keeping on going until you reach those two wonderful words: ‘The End.’ Because only when you finish, will you have a story. The second part is what we call editing. This is the bit where we ‘fix it’. Correcting mistakes, improving descriptions, deleting the boring bits. So don’t worry if your story feels a bit wonky at first – a bit muddled, or slow, or not quite right. Stick with it! And keep on writing until you finish. We’ll worry about fixing it later.

Oh, and one more thing. Don’t forget to unleash your creative monster!

Follow these other stops on the blogtour to see and hear more from this fab book ( equally useful at home or in school!).

You can find out more about the books from publishers Walker Books at

See illustrator Olaf Falafel (@OFalafel) talking about the book here:

Follow author Andy Jones as @andyjoneswrites on Twitter or via his website

Thanks again to Kirsten at Walker for the opportunity to be part of the blogtour.

Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot) October 2021

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