Monday, February 28, 2011

How to Save an Endangered Species

Week of February 27—One Writer’s View of the State of Picture Books Monday, February 28—How to Save an Endangered Species

Picture books are said to be on the endangered species list. As a child of the 60s I grew up hearing about endangered species. In fact, the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1967. The efforts of endangered species activists have saved many species and some species have even been removed from the endangered list. Yes, of course, some species have been lost, but far fewer than would have been lost without action.
But picture books endangered? Say it isn’t so. Evidently, the economy coupled with children moving into chapter books at earlier and earlier ages are to blame. Of course, lack of sales of picture books is the bottom line threatening the species.
Some of the same actions taken to protect endangered animal species could also be used to protect the endangered picture book.
1. Nurture them.
Talk about picture books. Use picture books in lessons, lectures, and sermons. Cherish and value them. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Be amazed at them. Tell others about them.
2. Protect their habitat
Picture books live with families and in schools, classrooms, and libraries.
You can help protect these habitats by:
·   Giving picture books as gifts.
·   Donating picture books to a school media center or public library.
·   Sharing book lists (such as Caldecott or Golden Kite award-winning books) with parents, teachers, school media specialists, and public librarians.
·   Become a volunteer in a media center and offer to read picture books to children.
·   Develop lesson plans based on or using picture books. Share the lesson plans on a database, web site, or in other ways.
Another habitat for picture books is book stores—independent and the big-chain ones. Often the children’s buyer or the manager of a store would be open to a volunteer coming in to read picture books to children, setting up seasonal picture book displays, and conducting author visits and signings.
3. Remember—only the strongest and fittest will survive
Not every picture book can be saved. Just as in the wild, only the strong will survive. For picture books that means the best crafted and most unique books and the ones that resonant with the audience. By strongest and fittest I don’t mean rhyme over non-rhyme or fiction over non-fiction. I do mean quality over quantity.
4. Intervene to help newborns
Become the champion of new, talented picture book authors. Mentor those authors and refer them to others who can help launch and grow their careers. When you find a picture book that is exceptional, extraordinary, and a cut above the rest, spread the news. Write a column for your local newspaper, tell teachers and librarians, blog about them, feature them on your website, and visit your local book stores to encourage book sellers to stock the books.
5. Join with others of like mind and let your voice be heard
Endangered animal species were rescued by the actions of many. The same could be true for picture books. When those of us who know the value of these colorful, carefully-crafted wonders unite to talk about them and when we encourage others to read and value them, we may be ensuring that this endangered species never becomes extinct.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Coming This Week!

Week of February 27—One Writer’s View of the State of Picture Books
Quotes of the Week:
See things as you would like them to be, instead of as they are.
—Robert Collier

Big results require big ambitions.
—James Champy

Monday—How to Save an Endangered Species
Wednesday—Slush Is Not a Four-letter Word
Friday—Tips for the Journey to Publication

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Last Session of Wonka Wriitng Factory

Jackson Elementary School in Plant City, FL, was a sweet place to be today . . . especially if you're a writer.

Today was the third and last session of the Wonka Writing Factory.

As usual, the kids wrote, but this week we focused on revision and editing to make our writing stronger.

The day was topped off by a visit by Willy Wonka himself.

Some kids even got autographs!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Snooping Through Life

Week of February 20—Gathering Ideas
Friday, February 25—Snooping Through Life

I eavesdrop. Yes, I listen in on the conversations of others. My hearing is intensified when something is not my business. It may be a medical issue for all I know. I am not a nosey person. I’m just an eavesdropper.

I can repeat entire conversations and even reproduce the voices of the speakers. Of course, if a conversation is not interesting, you’re safe. I’d tune you out in a heartbeat. But let there be one word, one phrase, one sentence that interests me, and I’m hooked.

There was the time I was in the grocery store and heard a woman tell her husband (with great disgust), “Sometimes you are such a man!” Or the fourth grader I overheard on the bus ramp telling other kids, “People with blue eyes are devils.” Or the man being interviewed by a TV news reporter who said, “That tornado did not sound anything like a train. There was no clickety-clack, clickety-clack, woo-woo at all.”

I love being in a crowded airport and floating from conversation to conversation, each telling a different story, and all being told simultaneously. The experience is like visiting the TV department at an electronics store with all the TVs turned on. Sensory overload of the best kind!

I think (or hope) many of these bits of conversation can be used in my writing. For instance, when I overheard a fourth grader say: “Tomorrow is my birthday. I’m a rain baby, you know. So is my grandfather. We were both born on rainy mornings.” I immediately started planning a story based on the idea. Or when I heard Granny Raney tell my mom, “Your Uncle Clifty never had a name ‘til he went to school. We always called him Brother ‘til then. Still do.” I’ve worked on the draft of that story for years.

Ralph Fletcher writes:

     Writers are fascinated by talk, obsessed with what people say and how they say it, how they interrupt themselves, the words they repeat, the way they pronounce or mispronounce words . . .
     Keep your ears alert to the conversations of strangers wherever you are and pay attention to what strikes you. You don’t need to write down the whole conversation, often you end up just writing a sentence or phrase in your notebook.

From: A Writer’s Notebook: Unlocking the Writer within You by Ralph Fletcher, pp. 59-62

Ok, I’m off the hook, because Ralph says writers are supposed to listen to other people’s conversations. But there's another problem. I am also a people watcher. Observing the gate and meter of a person’s walk, a facial expression, or an unintentional fashion statement can tell me loads about a person. (Or, at least I can infer loads about them.)

When I had booths in an antique mall in Nashville we often had country music singers come in to shop. I loved following them from booth by booth to listen and watch. (I was discrete of course.) I watched the way these “famous” people picked up items and looked at them, their facial expressions, their walks, their mannerisms. Then I would rush back to the counter and act it out for Carolyn and Margaret who worked up front.

I’m hoping all my “inquisitiveness” will help out when I am developing characters, writing dialogue, or showing my voice through my writing. In the meantime, I’ll just keep on listening and keeping an eye peeled for anything interesting.

It’s Your Turn!
1. You have my permission—start eavesdropping and people watching.
2. Keep notes of what you hear and see. Then see what you can weave into your writing.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

Week of February 20—Gathering Ideas
Thursday, February 24—A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

In his book A Writer’s Notebook: Unlocking the Writer within You, Ralph Fletcher talks about mind pictures. He writes:

Pay attention to your world. Wherever you are, at all hours of the day, try to drink in the world through your five senses, all of which are incredibly important tools for writers.

Step one: Pay attention. Be ready. Keep your senses peeled.
Step two: Write down what you notice before you forget.
Step three: Later, go back and reread your entry. See if you might want to write more about it.

From: A Writer’s Notebook: Unlocking the Writer within You by Ralph Fletcher, p. 45

I am always telling stories. Things I've heard on the news, funny things I’ve observed, things that happened at school. But I seldom write those things down. I’m risking loosing those ideas/stories. And I realized today without writing those stories down, I can't find the connections between the stories that might link them into something bigger.

I used to write down things more than I do now. For many years I had booths in antique malls and would sell odds and ends. When I first started, I wrote a brief story to go with each item. My thought was that if I could keep people in the booth reading they might be more likely to buy. I think the owner and other dealers were more interested in my stories than the customers, but it still was a fun endeavor and it was a way to record some of my stories.

This is the Sanders family, circa 1964. That’s me on the front row, second from the right. I remember posing for the photo. As I look at it today, I get ideas for stories.
·   That’s my cousin Linda to my left. (The one waving.) We called ourselves twin cousins since we were born two months apart. Twin cousins—interesting story idea.
·   I think that must be my cousin Dean in the plaid shirt. I see a character in that boy.
·   My brother Butch and Uncle Jackie (both now deceased) are on the far right of the photo. They grew up only a couple of years apart. My mom always said she raised them both. That’s a story.
·   Grandpa Sanders (with the dark glasses) was a nearly-blind sharecropper/ shoe cobbler with six children. A War World I veteran, Grandpa was a proud and gentle man. Grandpa Sanders is a story waiting to be written.
·   My mom stands in front of Grandpa. She’s wearing a coat with a dark faux fur collar. Dad stands behind Grandpa and is dressed stylishly in a tab-collared shirt. I just noticed that he is the tallest man in the group. I have no memory of my parents looking like this. Maybe there’s a story in the reality and perception of our parents.
·   Almost hidden behind Grandpa is my Uncle Bud (aka Dr. Robert Richert). Uncle Bud and Aunt Betty (my dad’s only sister) were the only college-educated adults in this photo. Maybe there’s inspiration in that fact.

I’ll stop boring you. You get the idea. There are story ideas hidden in our photos. But we can also look for those ideas in the photos of strangers. Almost every thrift store, estate sale, or antique mall has boxes and bins of photos for sale. I have a friend who buys great vintage photos and calls the people in the photos his instamatic family. We can mine these photos for story ideas, too.

I found about twenty snapshots of this woman with her dog (and more of the dog's antics). I bought them. I don’t know why, but there’s a story there somewhere.

This photo is labled: Effie and her daughter, Evelyn. When I look at this photo, I wonder:
·   Who are these people?
·   Who is taking the photo?
·   Who or what is Effie pointing at?
·   Where has the car in the background taken them or where is it going to take them?
·   Why have they paused to take this photo?
·   What are they thinking? Feeling? Wondering?
·   What happened just before this photo?
·   What happened after this photo was taken?
·   What is Evelyn holding in her hand? She appears to be eating, but what?

This is why I can’t go into antique malls and flea markets very often. I can linger over the photos forever. Another thing I like to search out are vintage postcards. Not the destination kind, but the graphic kind. I’ll show you two of my postcards. See what questions they generate in your mind, what story titles pop up, and what plot lines they inspire.

If you’re searching for a story idea, look no further than the mental pictures you take each day, the photos on your walls, and your scrapbooks. But don’t stop there. Search for stories in the photos of others and maybe even the graphics of days gone by.

It’s Your Turn!
1. Go on a walk today. Take mental pictures and write down what you saw.
2. Look through some of your photos. What stories come to mind?
3. Use one of the photos or postcards above. Write down everything that comes to mind as you look at that image—questions, wonderings, thoughts, feelings, and so on.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Week of February 20—Gathering Ideas
Wednesday, February 23—Ideas-in-a-Box

A couple of years ago I worked as a District Resource Teacher in my school district. The abbreviation for our job was DRT and we were affectionately called DIRT! I worked with elementary writing teachers throughout the district, modeled lessons, coached teachers, helped evaluate student writing, led training, and so on. I learned a lot that year and a lot of that learning came from watching and listening to other teachers.

At one school, I saw students using Writing Idea Boxes. The shoe boxes had been covered with personal photos and were stuffed full of personal momentos—ribbons and awards, letters and postcards, trinkets and doodads. Each box was different, unique to the student. When I quizzed a student about her box, she told me that when she was having trouble thinking of something to write, she went and got her idea box and looked for an idea.

The next school year my students and I made Writing Idea Boxes and used them throughout the year. I have gone back to that box over and over and over when I need an idea to write about. Remember, not everything we write is for publication. Sometimes we write for the enjoyment of writing, to practice the craft of writing, or to keep up the discipline of writing. However, those seemingly non-publishable writing chunks can lead into other works that could be sellable.

My box is covered with photos of my me as a child, my brother and sister, Granny’s farm, my parents, our cousins, photos of activities I was involved in when growing up and the activities that occupy my time and attention now, and of course there are photos of my dogs (past and present

Inside the box I have a strange combination of items. Sometimes I take out some items or add something new to. The box can change, it didn’t be static. Some of the items inside my box include a:
·        Kite I made as a child
·        Photo of Baxter (my dog) with Santa
·        Luggage tug from travels
·        Sunglasses and a seashell
·        Postcards of favorite places
·        Beefeater finger puppet from London

Now, don’t think I’m crazy, but let me share with you a couple of other ways of gathering memories that can lead to writing ideas. Over a decade ago I took a trip to Israel along with a film crew. We were making educational videos for the company I was working for at that time. The trip was a rich experience in many ways. I gathered up postcards and souvenirs and took many photos. I ended up with a two-volume scrapbook of photos, maps, postcards, and more.

I also made a display of pottery artifacts I purchased (not shown) and physical items I collected—salt from the Dead Sea, acorns from Jericho, a candle used when touring Hezekiah’s tunnel, etc. These items are displayed so I can enjoy them and be inspired by them.

For the last couple of years I have worked off and on (more off than on) on a chapter book that is an adventure story set in Israel. These photos and physical items are the inspiration for the writing. They are the items I go back to when I need to see a scene, touch something physical to transport me back to the experience, or figure out a character’s next move.

Ideas from life surround us, yet the often are the last things we think about when it comes to a writing topic. Why not get in touch with your memories and see what ideas you can uncover.

It’s Your Turn!
1. Look through a photo album or box of momentos. See what writing ideas you can unearth.
2. Consider beginning a Writing Idea Box to serve as inspiration during those dry times when ideas just don’t seem to come.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Creating a Writer's Notebook

Week of February 20—Gathering Ideas
Tuesday, February 22—Creating a Writer’s Notebook

When I met Deborah Wiles and followed her from session to session a few years ago, I noticed the thick, tattered notebook she carried with her. In one session she showed the notebook and talked about how she tracked thoughts, collected ideas, recorded dialogue, and so on in her notebook. What a treasure trove.

Another writer at the same conference talked about the files she kept—clippings from newspapers, photographs, recipes, letters, and so on. These items were her version of a writer’s notebook. Still another author showed the desktop of his computer and all the idea files he had stored there.

I keep lots of electronic files. I’m a collector of ideas for titles and have files and files of titles I’ve pilfered from plays, musicals, newspaper headlines, recipes, magazine articles, holiday concert “themes”, party ideas, even the names a cake decorator gives to his designs. These titles serve as an idea file. An electronic writer’s notebook of sorts.

Lillian Morrison, poet and anthologist, writes:

I have tons of notebooks into which I tend to throw everything—thoughts, ideas for books, early drafts of poems and letters, unfinished poems, dreams (including lines, phrases, or puns dreamed), passages from my reading that interest or move me, word lists, overheard bits of conversation, etc. Sometimes, when I need inspiration, I go back to an old notebook and a poem results. I always have a notebook next to my bed.
From: A Writer’s Notebook: Unlocking the Writer within You by Ralph Fletcher, p. 130.

To writing teachers, Ralph Fletcher is the guru on writer’s notebooks. Fletcher’s book, A Writer’s Notebook: Unlocking the Writer within You, is used by teachers and students who are interested in learning how to create and use a writer’s notebook. Fletcher writes: “Keeping a writer’s notebook is one of the best ways I know of living a writing kind of life.” (p. 3) In Live Writing: Breathing Life into Your Words, Fletcher points out some of the advantages of using a writer’s notebook:

·        You can let go of what others might think about your writing
·        You can let go of worries about being graded
·        You can let go of judging yourself
·        Nothing is good or bad, stupid or silly
·        Write honestly, your notebook will be filled with the true you
·        Nobody can do you better than you can

From: Live Writing: Breathing Life into Your Words by Ralph Fletcher, p. 50.

I am still learning the discipline of keeping a writer’s notebook. My latest version of a writer's notebook is proving helpful. Not only am I recording title ideas, but lists of words, newspaper clippings and letters that could be story ideas, clip art and photographs, pre-rough drafts (you know, the notes you keep on napkins or scraps of paper), and more. I’ve given myself permission to draw, sketch, glue, staple, bend, fold, and mutilate the pages of my notebook anyway I need to in order to save the information I think is important. Neatness doesn’t count here. It’s not a scrapbook for public viewing.

The writer’s notebook is a place to house ideas. To keep the noteook and add to it is a discipline in and of itself. But one of my goals this year is to keep AND use my writer’s notebook. I want to refer back to it, pilfer ideas from it, grab a word I've saved, and so on. I know that’s not a unique concept, but it is a realization (and a goal) for me.

It’s Your Turn!
1. Do you have a writer’s notebook? Are you actively using it? Do you need to start one? Today could be the day to start a new discipline or renew your commit to a discipline you've let slide.
2. Read Fletcher’s book A Writer’s Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Within You. Follow some of his advice. See what ideas you can generate and how your writing can be impacted.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Authors Say About Gathering Ideas

Week of February 20—Gathering Ideas
Monday, February 21—What Authors Say About Gathering Ideas

Lois Lowry was the opening keynote speaker at SCBWI, NYC, this year. What a phenomenal choice. Lowry is an award-winning author who has written in virtually every genre. Her topic focused on gathering ideas. I cannot do justice to the presentation, but I will give a few examples of where Lowry said she gets her ideas.

A Summer to Die (Lowry’s first book) was an attempt to “give sorrow words.” Lowry’s sister died as a young adult and Lois found herself telling stories to her daughter about the sister. Those stories led to this book.

Anastasia Krupnik was inspired by Amy Carter, daughter of the President Jimmy Carter. At the time, Carter was president and Amy Carter was a child. Anastasia resembled Amy in many ways, including physically.

Number the Stars was based on a friend’s real-life story.

The Giver was Lowry’s example of thinking what-ifs and writing based on the answers she discovered.

Gooney Bird Green was a rewriting of Lowry’s own life. Gooney is the child Lowry always wished she could be.

The Silent Boy was based on a photo. Lowry’s aunt was a professional photographer who willed all her photos to Lowry. The photo that inspired this book (and that appears on the cover of the book) was one of those photos.

Gossamer was based on “fragments and pieces of the past that became part of a dream.”

Bless This Mouse (a soon-to-be-released picture book) was based on a mouse that made its way into Lowry’s home and life.

Mem Fox says this about where ideas come from:

The best ideas, in my experience, do not come from our heads. They come from our immediate lives, or from memory, and then they are molded by our imaginations into grand stories that affect the hearts and minds of others. Stories created solely from the imagination have a flatness about them. They are usually about things that don’t matter much. They are here today and gone tomorrow. No one remembers them into adulthood.

Ralph Fletcher (a great author and a great teacher), gives this advice to young writers searching for ideas:

You might try to write about:
* Family story
* A particular tradition in your family.
* An artifact (arrowhead, ring, antique, etc.). Important objects in our lives often provide excellent material to write about.
* Special place: special room, attic nook, inside of a tree, scary closet. You might start by quickly sketching a map of a house full of memories. Mark those rooms where something important happened to you.
* Brother, sister, or special relative. Remember: think small. Focus on one aspect of that person, or one experience you had with him or her.
* Your place in the family. Are the oldest kid in your family? The youngest? Are you a middle child? An only child? Were you adopted?
* Best friend. (Did you ever get in trouble?)
* Moving. Did you leave behind a best friend when you moved from your old house?
* A disastrous time you had at camp or on a family vacation.
* Horrible haircut (or other mortifying experience)
* An injury. Did you ever have to go to the hospital?
* Important first: your first day in school, the first time you rode a two-wheeler, etc.
* Favorite pet, or a pet you once had.
* When your family changed: your brother went off to college, grandma came to live with you, etc.
* What you are (or used to be) afraid of.
* One thing you never want to do again!

I tell students they can write about anything they want to write about—the choice is totally up to them. But the easiest thing to write about is someone you know or something you have experienced. We also talk about “heart” ideas. Are there people or subjects you write about a lot? Things you are passionate about? Things you spend a lot of time thinking about or doing? Those are “heart” ideas. If you write from the heart you are more likely to touch someone else’s heart.

It’s Your Turn!
1. Go on line and visit the web sites of some of your favorite authors. Look on those sites for ways those authors find their ideas.
2. Scour the biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs of some of your favorite authors to discover their idea-gathering processes.
3. To stretch your brain about how ideas and innovations occur, watch a great YouTube video by Steve Johnson--

Sunday, February 20, 2011

On A Pesonal Note

I am deep in my teacher life these days. Our state writing test is looming on the horizon and the stress is building up in schools across our state. Every state is different, but most require the students in one elementary grade, one middle school grade, and one high school grade demonstrate proficiency in writing. In our state, fourth graders are required to respond to a prompt they’ve never seen before, plan, and draft a piece of writing within 45 minutes. Most adults couldn’t handle this pressure or perform at the drop of a hat, but we require kids to do it. So I have to try to maintain balance between helping my students be prepared for the test and keeping them motivated and in love with writing. (Not an easy task, I must admit.)

But today . . . at this moment . . . I am feeling like an author. I received revision notes from my editor on Friday. While there were only a few suggestions, I’ve been reworking the pages all weekend. The next step will be to retool my illustration notes. (My editor likes extensive art suggestions with a cinematic approach, which just goes to show every editor has different requirements.) My editor also told me which illustrator she is pursuing for my book, COWBOY CHRISTMAS—how exciting is that?

Throughout this week , PICTURE THIS! will focus on gathering ideas for writing. That’s a nice combo between my teacher role and my author role. I hope you find some helpful tidbits as you follow along.

Coming This Week

Week of February 20—Gathering Ideas
Quotes of the week:
Always be on the lookout for the big idea that can change your life.
—Norman Vincent Peale

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from the old ones.
—John Maynard Keynes

Monday—What Authors Say About Gathering Ideas
Tuesday—Creating a Writers’ Notebook
Thursday—A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words
Friday—Snooping Through Life

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wonka Writing Factory, Session 2

We're becoming SWEET writers at the Wonka Writing Factory!

Look at those kids write . . .

and write some more!

Our writing isn't the only thing that's sweet!

Hot off the Oompah-Loompah Press!
It was announced today that Willy Wonka WILL be visiting our final session next Saturday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Effective Endings

Week of February 13—From Beginning to End
Friday, February 18—Effective Endings

THE END. That’s the way incoming fourth graders let you know a story is over. I always say, “You don’t have to tell me it’s the end. I’ll know it’s the end if you write a good ending.” Then with great ceremony and flourish, I write THE END on a piece of paper, wad it up, and through it in the rubbish bin. (That’s what we call the trash can in writing class. We always try to use the best vocabulary possible!) From that day forward we don't write THE END at the end of our stories.

When I heard Richard Peck speak at our SCBWI, Florida, Winter Meeting in 2010, he said that all of his writing success was based on what he learned in freshmen composition: Say what you’re going to say, say it, say what you said. This concept of introducing your story by telling what is going to happen, telling the story, and then summarizing or retelling the story at the end is a great way for all of us to write. If it worked for Richard Peck, who are we to argue?

At that same meeting I heard novelist Kathleen Duey say that you know you’re finished with a novel when, like a rollercoaster, it glides to a definite stop . . . and doesn’t keep rolling on.

Have you ever been to a movie, theatrical performance, or concert and felt the ending of the show long before it actually came to an end? It’s not a good feeling. I know I’ve watched movies that had three or four endings. You finally want to scream, “Let me out of here!” I want the endings I write to come at the right moment, to be natural, and to flow with my story as Richard Peck and Kathleen Duey described.

In his book, Reviser’s Toolbox, Barry Lane writes:

            ‘Don’t write endings, find them,’ novelist Thomas Williams used to say.
            Endings grow from beginnings and reveal themselves through clues within
            the story, characters or ideas.

            From: Revisers’ Toolbox, by Barry Lane, page 39

There are countless ways to end a book. But I’ve discovered a few picture book endings that are worth noting.

            Just as you would imagine, a circular ending brings you right back to where the story began.

Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk
The Barn Owls by Tony Johnston and Deborah Kogan Ray

Kids love a surprise ending (and adults probably do, too). When a book takes you where you didn’t expect to go, that makes the trip all the more exciting and fun.

Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray
Night Noises by Mem Fox
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg and Judy Love

Be v-e-r-y careful here. Most editors and agents are not looking for books that moralize or teach an adult lesson. But if a character (and the reader) naturally learn something as they travel through the arc of a story you probably have skillfully crafted a great ending.

Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
Roberto the Insect Architect by Nina Laden
Pig Sty by Mark Teague

WARNING! WARNING! DANGER! DANGER! Don’t be sentimental and maudlin in your writing. A warm-fuzzy ending grows out of the need of the characters, setting, or situation and matches perfectly with everything else in the story.

Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser
Saturdays and Teacakes by Lester L. Laminack and Chris Soentpiet

Many authors combine two or more of the endings mentioned above to end their books.

Circular and Surprise:
The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend

Do your endings flow out of you without planning? Do they miraculously appear on pape? Unless, you are more skilled and gifted than me (and that is surely possible) then you may be settling for an ending instead of crafting an ending. I’m throwing down the gauntlet—let’s write endings that are memorable and noteworthy. Who’s with me?! YES! I see that hand!

It’s Your Turn!
1. You’ve already made your plan based on what you’ve read today, haven’t you? You’ve already thought of a couple of picture books to look over just to see how the author ended them. Or, you thought of a new way to structure the ending of something you’re writing. Well, go do it! I’ll see you next week.