English Language KS3 / KS4: What inspires a writer?

Anthony Horowitz discusses writing the Sherlock Holmes novels and shares his top tips for writing.

He considers where his ideas come from originally, and how to imagine stories behind everyday sights and sounds.

He shares his own writing practices and talks about what it feels like to immerse yourself in writing.

He concludes by looking at the idea of story in different forms and shares what he admires about Agatha Christie and her way of carefully deploying clues within a narrative.

Teacher Notes

Students could use the clip as a springboard for their own writing discussions as well as to complete their own version of the sentence ‘Writing is….’.

Students could begin a writer’s notebook, writing lists of all the different things that it is possible to use as inspiration for writing.

Students could experiment with using some very ordinary sights and sounds from their immediate environment to write the opening to a story.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching English Language at KS3 and KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

More from the series Curriculum Collections: English Literature / Language

Comic strips and graphic novels
What makes travel writing engaging?
What makes good story writing?
How did Arthur Conan Doyle create the character of Sherlock Holmes?
Comedy and tragedy in Great Expectations
Music in Performance Poetry
What is the power of poetry?