"Shoot for the Goal"
Both fiction and success stories begin with a “significant incident” which interrupts the character’s ordinary “world.” This incident (a decision, quest, loss, inheritance, death, act of nature or otherwise) propels the protagonist toward solving a specific problem and attaining a specific goal. Whether you’re an aspiring or published writer or a fictional character at the onset of a story, you must have a problem to solve and a goal to attain.
At this time of personal re-evaluation, renew your determination to attain publication. Adopt the New Year as your own significant incident. Confess the unfulfilled desire to publish a book or story as your problem. Choose a specific goal (i.e., write, revise or submit a story, picture book, chapter book or novel). When choosing a goal, select one that you have the ability and the motivation to solve. For example, don’t give yourself the goal of writing and revising an entire novel in one month or writing about something you have little or no interest in. Once you have selected your goal, write it on a piece of paper and post it where you will see it daily. Find a person to be accountable to as you proceed toward your goal, even if it is yourself, or a piece of paper.One you have your goal in place, grab your muse by the tail and don’t let go. Set your butt in a chair (the BIC method) and work, work, work--write, revise, submit, revise-- until your work shines. Like characters in successful fiction stories, you may have to fail several times in order to achieve it. Remember, if you don’t shoot for the goal, you will never make one.
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 COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Rob Sanders and illustrated by John Manders (Golden Books, 2012) and popular fairy tales. Please check out any one of 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.