twofer tuesday: everything we know about writing...

everything christy knows about writing, she learned from her second graders:

  • Don’t be afraid to use your imagination, even if it seems like a silly idea at first.
  • Use the names and places and events familiar to you and go from there.
  • Tell it like it is, don’t froo froo it up with unnecessary details.
  • Incomplete sentences are fine and add voice. (occasionally)
  • Every once in a while, a simile or a metaphor add description.
  • Don't start every sentence in the same way because always starting with "The sea turtle..." gets boring.
  • Start the story with a hooking first sentence like:  "Tommy dunked my face in the snow."
  • Spelling correctly is overrated, especially when computers have spell check.
  • What's an adverb?
everything erica knows about writing, she learned from her preschoolers:
  • If you can read it aloud and no one gets up and walks away, you've got a winner
  • If your book doesn't rhyme, it better have rhythm (see above)
  • Write about characters I can fall in love with, even if they do have some faults
  • If the main character has the same name as me, I now have a new favorite book
  • When I read you something I wrote, please tell me at least one nice thing about it or I'll cry
(Thanks to all our bloggy buddies out there who give us helpful advice and links and encouragement.  We appreciate it all!  We're still working on our loglines...expect to read them soon!)

have a great day reading, writing, and/or doing all the great things you do!

*check out this post announcement from one of our favorite bloggers (now a debut author)!  i know what i'll be doing on november 15!  way to go tahereh mafi!*


  1. Thanks for that, I'm battling on! hugs..

  2. I love your lists! If only it were that simple!!!

  3. Awesome. Sometimes it really is that simple.

  4. Ha ha ha, so cute! And so true! (I have a 2nd grader and a pre-schooler.)

  5. I love it! Stick with the basics and you'll go far. Isn't it funny how as writers we sometimes think it's so much more than it really needs to be. Keeping it simple is just better. I think the trick is in how difficult it can be to make it look simple. The irony of life, I suppose. We work really hard to make it read really easy. Ah,the writer's life!

  6. I have nothing to say, just want to keep pace with MdG!

    And Hart, better watch your back, here I come!

  7. great post! LOL I agree if no one gets up and walks away- LOL and yeah it better rhyme.

  8. Such a helpful post! I love kids' honesty--I learn from them everyday. :)

  9. Love this post.

    BTW, I have an award for you over at my blog. http://caenus.blogspot.com/2011/03/woo-hoo-two-awards.html Scroll down to the strawberries. ;-)


  10. Haha, that is amusing! The only thing I've learnt from MY students is that I'm incredibly grateful that English is my first language!

  11. It's amazing the things we can learn from children. ;) Love this!

  12. You took me right back to when my son was little and loved writing almost more than video games. I kept all his manuscripts. We might have to be more sophisticated as grownup writers (Dang it!), but you made me remember how powerful that youthful energy is in making a story soar. Thankyou!!

  13. these are fantastic rules, and absolutely right, I'd say! Esp. the very last one about being nice... LOL! :D xoxo

  14. lol brilliant rules to write by.

    By the way, I hate books with my name, because the "characters" are either male, canine or equine. >_<


  15. Fabulous rules! teehee My son LOVED books with great rhythm, but my daughter just wanted to be the star of whatever story we were reading *rolls eyes*

  16. Fun post...

    At least these are rules we can live with... maybe? LOL


  17. Me, again..

    I don't know what's going on with blogger but I am losing ground with my comments. SO I will post under both names....lol

  18. I got you in my sights, Di Gesu!

  19. Aww! I particularly liked the lessons from preschoolers. Very nice. Thanks!

    <3 Gina Blechman

  20. :0) yes, being teachers, we are fortunate to find inspiration for writing (and living life) at work! thanks for all the comments today-and for the award, christopher!

    mike and michael-you make our comments even more entertaining. best of luck to both of you in your race for the (apparently) coveted top commenter spot!


  21. You gals generated quite a contest with your top commenter box! I can barely get mine to work. :( But now I don't feel guilty for the occasional double post since Michael is doing it under two different names!

    I would probably be better off if my 4th-grade teacher hadn't insisted upon telling me what an adverb is. Sigh...

  22. Perfect!!! :)

    I'm going to make sure I don't froo froo anything up from now on - that's the best advice yet!!

  23. Funny! I too have both a second-grader and a preschooler.

  24. So cute, yet so true! I would have loved to have teachers like the both of you! Your students are lucky to have you! BTW-I thought everything we needed to know we learned in Kindergarten! LOL!


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