July 14 Writing Tips, Tricks, Thoughts

Birthdays: Owen Wisler (1860), F.R. Leavis (1895), Irving Stone (1903), Natalia Ginzburg (1916), Leon Garfield (1921), Peggy Parish (1927), E.V. Thompson (1931), Pema Chodron (1936), Susan Howatch (1940), Christopher Priest (1943), Jeff Lindsay (1952), Laura Joffe Numeroff (1953), Joe Keenan (1958), Brian Selznick (1966), Ranj Dhaliwal (1976)

Peggy Parish is best known for your books about “Amelia Bedelia”

Owen Wisler is considered the father of the Western novel.

Laura Numeroff is best known for “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”

Brian Selznick won the 2008 Caldecott Medal for “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”

Quote: “A lot of people who don’t write for kids think it’s easy, because they think kids aren’t as smart as they are, or that you have to dumb down what you would normally write for kids. But I think you have to work harder when you write for kids, to make sure every word is right, that it’s there for the right reason.” – Brian Selznick

Tip: Plot is a series of events that make up a story. Think of it as a map that a driver follows from one point to another. There should be a sense of building. Check your scenes. Do they map out a logical route, or are there detours that lead to dead ends?

Jumpstart: We’ve all read directions that come with “some assembly required” projects. Most are terrible. Find something you’ve done and write a step-by-step manual on how to do it the right way.