“Children see magic because they look for it.” Christopher Moore This hyperbole meaning torrential rains has probably around since the sixteen hundreds according to Charles Earle Funk in his book Heavens to Betsy & Other Curious Sayings. We don’t use it much anymore, which seems a shame. It’s such a colourful, playful expression conjuring up

IMAGINE – the road not taken

Another Point of View activity that I have found super helpful, is to go through the writing prompts in some of my books  and then respond to the prompt as my protagonist would respond. This is actually a lot of fun and provides a whole new twist to the writing prompt. But the best part

How to Begin With A Character

An alternative to giving students  a writing prompt, try having students begin by getting to know a character.  I have spent the past several months studying character development for my work-in-progress. Now I have put together some activities to help students get to know their characters. We start with the more superficial elements as students

I Did Not See That Coming : What Happens When You Listen

Last week my theme song was “showing up” and listening to your characters. Well I did that. I got back into Lily’s story. I put myself in her ballet flats. Felt her pain. Her frustration. Her despair. And I listened. At first Lily’s voice was quiet. Barely audible.  Just a hint of a different idea.

Dragon or No Dragon, You Have To Show Up

For those of you who have not been drinking. What? Sassy, you know for a fact that is NOT what I said. (Sassy is my voice recognition Dragon.) I distinctly said “for those of you who have not met my Dragon.” And I was going to go on to say that she, Sassy, has been

Happy New Year!

Ah, September 1st. The lazy days of summer are officially over. Not on the calendar, but definitely on the schedule. While it is still warm outside, the yellow tinge in the leaves warn of colder days ahead. Days when I’ll be happy to curl up by the fire and summon the muse. Days when the

Tuesday’s Tips from Sol Stein: Our Native Language Is Not Dialogue

Today’s words of writing wisdom can be found in Sol Stein’s book How To Grow A Novel. In his chapter titled, Our Native Language Is Not Dialogue, he describes three techniques to use in making dialogue interesting: impatience, misunderstandings, and differing underlying attitudes. I love that. Stein has a way of getting inside the issues

Tuesday Tips: Don’t Panic

Yesterday was one of those days. It happens to all of us, in spite of our best intentions, plans and come-hell-or-high-water attitudes.  Days that begin with a flat tire, followed by an SOS call from your kid’s school. Days when the dog is the one getting a shampoo, cut and pedicure. Days when you watch

Tuesday Tips: Metaphor Magic September 24, 2013

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them and pretty soon you have a dozen.” John Steinbeck Good resources are like ideas. You can never have too many (unlike rabbits). Today’s pick I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like by Dr. Mardy Grothe, will inspire you to spice up your manuscript

Tuesday Tips – September 10, 2013

  Here are a few questions I have asked myself when deciding whether or not a particular idea I have is plot-worthy.  In other words, can I turn this idea into a novel? If you are contemplating writing a novel, you may want to ask yourself these questions.    Does this idea matter enough to