Great Writing Isn’t Born—It’s Built Sentence by Sentence with Self-Editing

While I was self-editing my first children’s novel in 1989 (gasp, yes, I hung out with Methuselah et al.), I consulted a great little book called Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to edit yourself into print. The wise authors, David King and Renni Browne, helped me look professional in many areas including dialogue and proportion … More Great Writing Isn’t Born—It’s Built Sentence by Sentence with Self-Editing

The Right Amount to Write

All around the internet, at writer’s conferences, and in any gathering of literary minded folks, you’ll find writers of all genre and for all ages asking this question: “Is it important to write every day?” As this year comes to a close and a new year is dawning on our horizon, this is also a … More The Right Amount to Write

The First Page of Your Picture Book

A picture book is all about your Main Character (MC) and the problem he or she is trying to solve. As in all manuscripts, the first page of your picture book plays an important role. We’re going to talk about the text that will eventually become the first page of the published book. Because the … More The First Page of Your Picture Book

Choosing Your Mentor Text

As any brave explorer would do before embarking on a journey, it’s important for us as children’s writers to choose a reliable flashlight to help us find our way.For writers, our flashlight is a mentor text. What exactly is a mentor text, you may ask? In a nutshell, it’s a children’s book that you want … More Choosing Your Mentor Text

Websites for YA Writers

Compiled by Jean Matthew Hall If you would like to read up on writing for young adults before our September 18, 2021 Master Class with Tessa Emily Hall here are a few helpful website. Some contain quick tips. Some go into much more depth. They are handy resources for you to refer to again and … More Websites for YA Writers

Book Review: Social Media for Today’s Writer

Social Media for Today’s Writer offers practical advice for building an author platform. Read a full review here. … More Book Review: Social Media for Today’s Writer

Book Review: A Book for Writers by Jean Hall

A Review by Jean Matthew Hall of STEERING THE CRAFT: A TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY GUIDE TO SAILING THE SEA OF STORY by Ursula K. LeGuin Dear Writers, If the beauty of language thrills you; If you love weaving words, sounds and silences as they move readers through a story; If you admire and respect the power … More Book Review: A Book for Writers by Jean Hall

5 Tips for Using Literal and Metaphorical Language, Part V (conclusion): Always Remember Context by Deborah DeCiantis

TIP #5 Use context to recognize, understand, and interpret literal and metaphorical language. Historical, social, cultural, and biblical contexts are essential for understanding literal and metaphorical elements in speech and writing. Accurate understanding should come before interpretation! A cropped photo automatically demands interpretation, zeroing in on details the user wants to emphasize while excluding others. In … More 5 Tips for Using Literal and Metaphorical Language, Part V (conclusion): Always Remember Context by Deborah DeCiantis

5 Tips for Using and Understanding Literal and Metaphorical Language, Part IV by Deborah DeCiantis

TIP#4 Recognize valid situations where literal and metaphorical meanings co-exist. Statements may have both literal and metaphorical meanings without being ambiguous, equivocal, or contradictory. Acronyms and acrostics, homonyms and antonyms, sound devices like alliteration and rhyme, humor, and even puns, function as literal content and also as helpful memory aids. Today’s icons, emoticons, GIFs, and … More 5 Tips for Using and Understanding Literal and Metaphorical Language, Part IV by Deborah DeCiantis

5 Tips for Using and Understanding Literal and Metaphorical Language, Part III by Deborah DeCiantis

  TIP #3 Don’t avoid tough literal situations by referring to them only as metaphors. Taking literal language metaphorically is equally problematic.                         Kids can be masters of metaphor. Ask “Didn’t I tell you not to play in the mud?” and they answer, “We weren’t playing, we were making a snack for the frogs.” One child, … More 5 Tips for Using and Understanding Literal and Metaphorical Language, Part III by Deborah DeCiantis