For the next few months, every week my blog will be featuring 1) the tiny, real-life seed from which one of my stories unfolded and 2) a writing tip that helped the seed grow into a finished story.
The Book: Casey Webber, The
Great (Annick, 1988 - novel, ages 8-11)
The Seed: In the bottom of the kids' dress up-box was an old green jacket that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. That sense of mystery was enough to get me writing!
|The name of the young artist is unfortunately lost in the mists of time.|
The Writing Tip: Even an ordinary object - like a jacket - can become a great story seed so long as you think about it in different ways. Some suggestions are:
- Is the object associated with a sad time in a character's life?
- Is it something a character doesn't have but desperately wants?
- Is it a threat?
- Is it part of a puzzle, something to be figured out in order to solve a mystery?
- Does it have a magical quality?
- Does it reveal something deeper about the central character?
- Can the basic traits of the object be used in unexpected ways?
An interesting sideline to the writing of this book is that I spent several weeks doing a small but “active” bit of research. My hard work resulted in only one short line of actual text but when I visit schools, it's how I end my presentation. As the young artist who drew the picture above has depicted, writing can be fun in more ways than one!