Writing Road Trip
I once had an “aha” moment while giving my nephew a ride on a beautiful summer day. He was in that early stage of adolescence: old enough to sit in the front seat, but young enough that riding shotgun was exciting. But during this ride, he was giving off strange signals. He twitched. He wiggled. He squirmed.
Sometimes, despite cramming plenty of action and conﬂict into my writing, it still falls ﬂat. I want the words to leap oﬀ the page and grab readers by the throat, and instead they ﬂop around gasping for breath. Fortunately, there’s a straightforward revision trick that can rejuvenate such writing: a verb check. I start by going through the
I love book spine poetry, and it’s a great way to get young writers to engage with both books and poetry-writing. Check out your own shelves and see what stories emerge. Here are some of my own eﬀorts to show you how easy it can be. Where She Went Looking for Alaska Chasing Vermeer Tracking daddy down Looking for
“Assumptions” cause misunderstandings in life, but they can be a handy tool for writers.
In my town, parallel parking was known as the “skill most likely to rattle” new driving candidates and ultimately cause them to ﬂunk their on-road driving test. Luckily for me, I was assigned a gigantic pickup truck the day we practiced parallel parking in the student lot for Driver’s Ed class. By the time class was over, I could
Here’s one of my deep, dark secrets: I’m a huge fan of the reality TV show “Finding Bigfoot.”
Names are one-word poems. I often do tons of research to ﬁgure out which name is the best match for the individual I’m inventing; it matters that I get it right.
Some students jump into wild creativity without hearing a single warning rattle. Others stop to look both ways so often that they never successfully make it across the writing street.
Writing well is hard. If you’re not challenging yourself as a writer, you can turn into writing road kill. Besides: angels need a reason to show up.
There’s a quote about sculpting, attributed to Michelangelo, that I often paraphrase for students when I’m talking about the art of revising.
There’s a quote about sculpting, attributed to Michelangelo, that I often paraphrase for students when I’m talking about the art of revising: In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition
When traveling on alternate routes has been unavoidable, I’ve often noticed and appreciated things I might have otherwise overlooked.
What if classroom Election Day was based on books?
For any writer, it’s important to understand that the act of writing, and being published are not the — same thing.
Safety, I am here to tell you, is the bane of good story-writing …