FINDING YOUR FRESH START
Now that it’s nearing the close of 2018, you’re probably wondering how to give your writing a fresh start or a jump start. Do it -- you certainly deserve another chance and most importantly, don’t forget, so do your characters!
Perhaps your character(s) dwindled away as a result of a tired plot, missing conflict, or over-zealous sidekicks. If so, it’s time to breathe life into these poor souls.
Choose the most favored of your nearly-departed characters and give them a fresh plot. You can begin by writing a picture book draft of up to 700 words, with your character doing any one or more of the following:
2. Losing or gaining a beloved object.
3. Wanting to win a prize.
4. Gaining or losing a magical power.
5. Moving to a new home or school or country or galaxy.
6. Becoming or not wanting to be a ______________________.
7. Losing or getting a parent, sibling or friend.
8. Learning to share.
9. Becoming someone else for the day.
10. Learning to say “I’m sorry.”
11. Organizing something challenging.
12. Doing something you would least expect him/her to do.
13. Wanting a pet.
14. Doing a job or chore.
15. Learning to get along with others.
Whatever you chose, challenge your character’s staying power and remain true to
his/her/its personality. You will find out things about your character that you hadn’t considered or known—and that may be all your character needs for a fresh start and a happy new year!
BONUS *WORD WEAVING* CHALLENGE:
Write a picture book story using as many words from this list as possible. Give yourself bonus points for using all of them. If this practice becomes a project, feel free to discard any words that don't serve your story. They will have done their job by inspiring something new!
Word weaving exercise inspired by words from DEAR SANTASAURUS, written by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by Jef Kaminsky, Boyds Mills Press, 2019 and BEING FRANK, written by Donna Earnhardt and illustrated by Andrea Castellani (Flashlight Press, 2012). Please check out these books!
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Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten - illustrated by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic, 2011), Hedgehog's 100th Day of School – illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic, January 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play -- illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books, 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares -- illustrated by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling, pending) and Let's Eat! Mealtimes Around the World -- illustrated by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books, 2019). You can learn more about her at www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com
To order the Star in the Christmas Play, click the title.