Writing Exercises

Can't get started? Writer's Block? Perhaps I can help...

Fiction Writing Tip:

1. Write a nonsensical poem. Click here for details.

2. Read a favorite novel. Think about what you like about the writing. Analyze it. What point of view is it? Do they say that the person sighs every other page (full disclosure: my manuscript did, my favorite novel did not... oops. time to rewrite!)

3. This tip is the most important . . . Sit down and WRITE. I joined 365 Writing Club - Daily Writing Challenge this year and it's helped me so much. Last year I would go weeks without writing. I have had small breaks this year (Hello Covid and crisis homeschooling!), but even so, nothing like my dry spells in 2019. Join a club, find a writing accountability partner, make a writing spreadsheet with goals (I have one, it helps!), whatever it takes!

4. Still stuck? Maybe you need a book coach! I recommend Sam Tyler, click here for info.

Picture Book Editing Tips:

Check out past ReviMo's (Revise More Picture Books) for many wonderful picture book editing tips.

Picture Book Writing Tips:

1. Type out the text of favorite picture books, study it!
Ann Whitford Paul (suggests typing out the text of picture books, to get a feel for the story. This is immensely helpful. Typing the text of some of my favorite authors' stories (Oliver Jeffers and Jim Averbeck, plus see more here) helped get me in a picture book writing frame of mind. Short, simple, sweet. Short, simple, sweet.

2. Chart the plot from picture books you love to get your creative juices going.
I was watching this cute video of Oliver Jeffers:

Oliver Jeffers Author Film 2013 from Oliver Jeffers on Vimeo.

And him talking about the "arch of his story" beginning middle and end, struck me. I have trouble coming up with the story arc. I come up with lots of ideas, but have trouble with the middle or the end, sometimes both. So I sat down and thought of some of my fave books and roughly wrote down the theme of their story.

Example [spoiler alert!] Oliver Jeffers story The New Sweater: The Hueys, Book 1 - All Hueys are the same, one Huey decides to be different. One joins/accepts him then all join him. Then decides to be different again.

This got my creative juices flowing, hope it does yours!


Unknown said...

Meg, your posts are always so positive and inspiring. Thank you!

CA Clark said...

breaking down a favourite story is an interesting exercise but very worthwhile. Thanks Ann Whitford

CA Clark said...

and thanks Meg :) I had fun with this.

jan godown annino said...

Dear Meg,

I pleasure to see your art here & to meet you this way. Appreciations for telling about Oliver. And that Vimeo has got me giggle silly. A treat. Must. Read. His. Books.

Happy Holidaze!

j a n annino/bookseedstudio