Writing a story is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle – you have all the pieces jumbled up and your aim is to rearrange them into some sort of order so the picture makes sense. Of course, solving a simple children's jigsaw with maybe nine or ten pieces is rather simple, just as writing a simple short children's story is much easier than writing an eight-hundred-page novel – the equivalent of one of those gigantic jigsaws with two thousand pieces that take a great deal of patience and far too much free time to complete.

I suppose you could also say that writing a good story is like solving a mystery or a riddle. If you have all the necessary information and you're intelligent enough, you can put two and two together and figure out what happened or why something happened – just as when you write a story, you have to tie everything up at the end and come to some sort of conclusion. If you leave all the loose ends hanging, the reader will get confused – as a writer, this is probably the last thing you would want to happen.

In some aspects, writing is like drawing or painting. If you have a good imagination, you can picture something quite clearly in your head and know exactly what you want to do, and if you have the talent or experience, you can paint a masterpiece. But sometimes when you put it down on paper, it's not quite how you imagined. Maybe something about the picture just doesn't seem right – perhaps the colours are washed out and dull, or perhaps everything is out of proportion. Just as working on a large painting with intricate detail is far more difficult than drawing a simple stick figure, the more complicated your plot is, and the more time and effort it takes to complete. And sometimes it doesn't turn out exactly how you wanted it to – perhaps your characterisation is wrong, or the plot of your story is too slow or too fast-paced, or just plain dull.

Unfortunately, I lack the patience to complete a thousand-piece jigsaw. I don't have the intelligence or logic required to solve complicated problems, nor the artistic ability to paint a beautiful picture. Although anyone can write, it takes real talent and hard work to be a truly good storyteller – which sadly I am not. So for now, I leave you with this.