If you were going to hide gold, where would you put it?
I have to admit, I love gold.
And our writing, when done well, is as shiny as gold.
That’s my goal: to write as well as possible.
Your writing prompt today is reading.
Read this great article, and maybe even buy the book.
I love William Zinsser. I’ve never read this book, but I know I would love what he says here, as I believe these ten hints are genius.
PS Check out the links below the article for more things to read before you write today.
If you could change one thing about your novel, what would it be?
If you could change one thing about you as a writer, what would it be?
I’ve lost my phone.
This worries me as I have an appointment with two friends. What if I’m late?
I fought against getting this phone. But year before last when people were messaging all over Waterford trying to find me, and the last time my agent had to listen to Carolina’s weird answering machine, I realized it was time to get a phone of my own.
Where is that darn thing?
What has your main character lost?
How important is it to her?
Does this loss play a necessary part in your story?
Look through your novel. IF this loss is important, in needs to be present. It can’t be forgotten.
When Rick Walton was ill, he was always on my mind. Always. He’s still on my mind quite a lot.
Loss can be anything. Anyone. Keep it age-appropriate, and remember loss for a young child is as important as for an older person, even if the object isn’t as huge as a lost cell phone. 😉
Sometimes we have characters in our novels that just aren’t doing anything to move the plot along.
Perhaps we like this character and so we mold and shape him. We give him the correct lines, witty banter. We even make him wowzers handsome.
Here’s the truth of it.
That guy’s gotta go.
If he ain’t pulling his weight, no matter how dynamic he is, you gotta get rid of him.
Look at the earlier writing prompt where you drew a circle, with your main character in the middle. All those lines lead to characters in the novel. Are they all important? Can you do without a few? Are there any people not doing their duty?
Every person who shows up in a book must DO something. No talking heads. No mannequins (unless you are Richard Peck writing SECRETS OF THE SHOPPING MALL. Mannequins WERE used in that story.)
So, get rid of all those who are weighing down the story.
And if they are super cool? Use them in another book.
Long ago, I met Claudia Mills when shecame to speak at an SCBWI event. Oh, I LOVED her immediately. Little did I know, I had found a writer who’s books I loved right at the same time and had been reading all the author’s works. AND IT WAS CLAUDIA! AND THEN I MET HER AND REALIZED THIS IS MY FAVORITE GAL!
Anyway, I said to Claudia, “Do you like Oreos?”
She gave me an odd look. “Yes. Why do you ask?”
“Because your characters always eat them when they have a snack.”
People know who I am when they read my books, too. Bits and pieces of me slip through.
As writers, we must remember we are writing for teens or kids and not writing to drive home an agenda. Spoon-feeding a reader isn’t fun for the reader.
What is the most controversial thing in your book?
Is it there because you want to make a point? Is it there because you are trying to change someone’s mind about something? Or are you just telling your story?
Go through your work.
Is this what a kid would say? Think? Feel?