Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Story Seed / Writing Tip #1 - Energy!

        Today I begin a weekly series "Story Seeds / Writing Tips".  Drop in whenever you feel like it! Or join the blog for automatic updates and draws for book prizes. For details, see March 3rd's post "I'm Celebrating !"

 The Seed: When I was in grades 4-6, the old "three wishes"fairy tale kept showing up in our reading books. It used to drive me crazy. The foolish adult characters always wasted their wishes in the worst possible manner. That's when I came up with my great idea!  I didn't actually write the story until fourteen years later...but when I did, it became my first published novel for children.  
The Book: The Three and Many Wishes of Jason Reid (Annick, 1983 and 2000)

The Writing Tip:  Some of the ideas one comes up with as a kid are very good ideas indeed!  But good ideas need energy if they're going to be able to carry a novel from start to finish.  One way I kept the energy level strong for this book was to alternate chapters. Magic. Baseball. Magic. Baseball. I wasn't even aware I was doing it at first -- all I knew was that somehow, every time I started on a new chapter, I was eager to write. And it showed.
             Where did the baseball theme come from? I thought at the time that it grew from a casual description I'd pulled from thin air. A boy with a baseball cap - it seemed pretty random to me.  
             I'm not so sure of that any more.  You'll see from future blog posts that some of the things that just "happen" to show up in my stories have all kinds of underlying connections.
             But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm trying to keep each posting to one short writing tip at a time. And please remember, writing tips are not writing rules. They're suggestions - things you might try to help you start a story, finish a story or improve a story on which you are already working.
             Moving back and forth between settings, subject matter or characters is one way to keep your writing energized and your audience reading. Are you reading a novel right now where the author uses this very technique?           

  c All Rights Reserved. All blog text(except comments by others) copyright Hazel Hutchins.

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