Wednesday, October 21

Things Learned From A Toddler About Writing

I realized a couple of days ago that I was saying, "No, no sweetie," to one of my characters, very much like I say it to my 1 year old when she's misbehaving, instead of listening to why the character was doing what he was doing.

Reading a simple book to the same 1 year old last week, I realized the plot (such as it was) just dropped at page 4 when the book ended. So the 1 year old kept trying to find more pages, but alas, the story was over. Not a good thing to do in a children's book and not a good thing to do in a grown-up book either.

Sometimes a picture is enough. In toddler books, there are all sorts of pictures, in my books, I have to draw the picture with words. A little more difficult but as I finish up revisions on the requested manuscript, I'm trying to 'paint' my words in bolder strokes.

Big words (I call 'em 25-cent-words) shouldn't be used simply because they are long and sound important. The right word for a sentence could be the shorter one...

I may want the last word with my characters - as I do with the 1 year old -but I still need to listen. To all of 'em.

'And they lived happily ever after' really does apply, at least for my wips.

I love this job.


  1. K -

    I bet your characters don't pick up their toys, either. Or if they're like my son, their socks!

    It's good we love 'em all, or we'd kill 'em for sure over some of their antics!

  2. Nope, they don't pick up their toys and the men, especially, are known to throw their shirts off at the slightest provocation - and then leave said shirt on the floor. And then there are the food fights and the 'are we there/done/home/fill-in-the-blank yet' questions.... 'course the 1 year old isn't actually saying those things quite yet...