November 2018 Archives

Truths, Principles, and Wisdom

help-2478193_1280.jpgSome favorite articles/blog posts/essays about writing I've read recently along with appropriate quotes for each section.


"Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing." - Melinda Haynes

"25 Truths About the Work of Writing" by Greer Macallister

"3 Principles for Finding Time to Write" by Jane Friedman


"Use your social media to create long-term connections with readers and authors alike. Engage with followers in an organic way without constantly peddling your wares." - Saritza Hernandez

"Is Tweeting a Must for Authors?" by Dear Editor aka Deborah Halverson

Children's Book Authors Are Selling More Than Books. They're Taking a Stand.
by Maria Russo


"A picture book must have lots of potential for illustration. If nothing much changes visually in the story, then it may not be a good fit for a picture book." - Kim Norman

Darcy Pattison and Leslie Helakoski-"How Do You Know If You've Written a Picture Book?"

Word Banks for Picture Books - "At a Loss for Words? Try Making a Word Bank by: Barb Rosenstock for Sherri Jones Rivers"


"Make your novel readable. Make it pleasant to read. This doesn't mean flowery passages; it means strong, simple, natural sentences." - Laurence D'Orsay

"The Process of Novel Writing: Transitions" by Jan Fields at the Institute for Writers - a newsletter you may want to subscribe to

"Use Theme to Determine Subplots, Supporting Characters, and Tension" by Becca Puglisi

Do you have some favorite articles to share? Please put them in the comments.

If you discover that your

If you discover that your story middle is wandering, you may find that you've strayed from the idea that excited you about writing the book in the first place.
Jane McBride

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

MasonButtle.jpgThe Truth as Told by Mason Buttle (Katherine Tegen Books, 2018) by Leslie Connor has such a sympathetic character. I couldn't wait to find out what had happened.

Mason is the biggest, tallest kid in seventh grade. He also has a sweating problem. And writing is extremely difficult for him. Of course, that means he's bullied. But Ms. Blinny believes he has stories in him and lets him use a computer that translates his spoken words into text. Maybe Lieutenant Baird can read those printouts and will believe Mason's oft-told story of what he knows about his friend Benny's death.

Life gets better with a new funny friend, Calvin. But when Calvin goes missing, the Lieutenant suspects Mason for this too.

The book is a National Book Award Finalist and is on a number of "Best Book" lists for 2018.

Read more about the author here.

I've recommended another of her books here.

The character that lasts is

The character that lasts is an ordinary guy with some extraordinary qualities.
Raymond Chandler

In order for backstory to

In order for backstory to work, it needs to come in response to a question raised to the reader. Don't stay in backstory too long, and make sure it moves the front story forward.
Jennifer March Soloway

Your Amazing Skin from Outside In

AmazingSkin.jpgYour Amazing Skin from Outside In (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2018) by Joanne Settel, PhD, and illustrated by Bonnie Timmons is a fun factual book about skin and why it does all the good and weird things it does.

The book is told in rhyme which flows well and is matched by humorous illustrations. Kids (and adults) can learn why they get pimples and goosebumps, sunburns, their skin color, and a lot more.

I think my favorite page of text is the one discussing layers and layers of skin and how they are shed. A portion of it says,

"These cells are tiny, small, and thin.
You'll never see them leave your skin.
But actually, they're everywhere.
They make the dust that fills the air."


I love so many of the illustrations, it's hard to pick one, but the spread with someone who is green is especially fun.

There are bonus facts about animal skin too.

Dr. Settle has written other science books for children. Read more about her and her other books here.

Read about author/illustrator Bonnie Timmons here--I can see why she was selected to do this book just from her bio.

Each time I pick this book up, I find myself smiling.

If you can quit then

If you can quit, then quit. If you can't quit, you're a writer.
R.A. Salvatore