More Than Matches: Igniting a Fire with Words
Everything you need to know about writing including 100's of prompts to get you started.
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April Makes New Friends
Written and Illustrated by Helen H. Wu
April’s family move to a new city and April's anxious about the new school and worried about making new friends. She wants someone to be her best friend forever. This is the story of how April makes new friends. It will catch your eye with its sweet picture of the little girl, April, and her puppy, Avery.
Turning up the Heat on Your Novel Writing
Writing a novel can be scary…exhilarating…the ups and downs endless…
So, here are a few tips that might help turn the heat up on your words and take your novel from dull to fabulous.
Do NOT open your novel with a dream. And watch out for the recurring premonition and past psychological mask of a dream like a traumatic experience from the past. This is so overdone and a little cliche. If you really want to use a dream in our novel, do it only once to give the reader a window to what a character is experiencing, emotionally, at that moment.
Try working a secret into the story with the end goal of heightening the conflict. Make it a secret that only your main character and the reader known. This opens the door for the reader to bond with your character.
When the going gets dull, bring in a guy with a gun. You can justify it later. This technique automatically adds tension and conflict to any scene. Think of all the questions that need to be answered such as: Who is the man with the gun? Does he know any of the characters? What does he want to accomplish? If a gun isn’t your thing, try and unexpected guest, someone from the past, an upsetting phone call, and accident, a police office, a nun, a con artist, a news worth tidbit, a death, or a sudden shocker.
Conflict is a writer’s best friend. TROUBLE, TROUBLE, TROUBLE. The worse the trouble, the more heat and intensity is brought to your words.
And while you’re on a roll, don’t stop to edit. It breaks down the creative process. Just put a symbol beside the text that you need to edit or do more research about and carry on writing. Come back to this later to fill in the blanks or elaborate.
Cheers and happy writing!
Keeping a Novel Journal
A while back I heard about something called “novel journaling.” I was intrigued and discovered that it was a journal developed for each novel you write. It keeps you motivated by introducing an easy tracking system for creativity and productivity. It is best to complete at the end of your day because it also gives you the opportunity to reflect and change direction, if necessary.
I like to begin by entering the date with a few lines about what is happening in my life. (I use this loosely, as you can get as personal or guarded as you like.) Perhaps I am elated about my daughter’s ballet recital or I’m a little bummed about a friend not being able to make it to dinner. These emotions will show through in your daily writing. Use them…embrace them. Emotions can help fuel a scene or character traits you may be struggling with.
I’d follow this entry with any ideas that have popped in your head from dreams, while showering, waiting in the grocery line…
Now for a little recap…as in, where are you currently in the book? What’s happening?
- Plot developments
- Trouble spots
Finish with letting your imagination run wild. Ask yourself, “What if…?” story possibilities. Such as, What if Jessica could not reach the knife? What if Michael kissed the girl? What if Shawna and her sister have a fight?
Ask the basic questions first and then start to elaborate. What if Jessica could not reach the knife that could save her life? What does she grab instead? What if Michael kissed the girl and she kissed him back? Does a rival see it happen? What if Shawna and her sister have a fight that ends up with one of them hurt? How badly? Then weigh the pros and cons. You can decide at a later date if any of it is usable in your book or for future works.
I hope this is a tool you can use to stay focused and grounded
to the completion of your manuscript.
I am the writer/voice behind Manhattan Mikey
A good-natured, warm and loving cat that lives in upscale Manhattan has only one wish, to visit the Statue of Liberty. Mikey lives a comfortable life, lazing around and eating gourmet food (His owner is a world-renowned chef at the Ritz-Carlton) but he secretly wants to get out and see what Manhattan has to offer with the Statue of Liberty his ultimate goal. But Mikey has one little problem…he has to get past Lolita, the cleaning lady. And then one day, Mikey’s opportunity comes and he dashes out the front door. With his head held high, Mikey marches toward the ferry docks only to be met there by a gang of rough cats. The only way Mikey will ever be able to board one of the ferries heading to the island is if he brings these bad cats some eats from one of the infamous food truck vendors. Mikey has come this far and because of his generous personality (and the fact that these cats scare him tremendously), he agrees to the challenge. Mikey hops rides with trolleys, cabs and even a baby carriage, as he travels around the city making stops at food vendors in historical neighborhoods and at local landmarks. He even makes friends with a small grey cat who believes in his quest and vows to help him. But every time Mikey gets his paws on a delicious meal meant for the mean pack of cats, he is tempted and gobbles up the food. Mikey must learn to overcome temptation and keep his eye on the prize, the Statue of Liberty. Will he be victorious?
Contributor of nursery rhymes to a lovely illustrated book of bedtime stories.
One, two, peek-a-boo
RED, BLUE, I see you.
Tiny faces behind the leaves
Skip, jump, trick and tease.
Secret spaces, secret places,
explore among the many mazes.
The stalks and stems-they do bend,
with love and care, we tend.
One, two, peek-a-boo
RED, BLUE, I see you.
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