This afternoon I am going to speak at a middle school career day. I have done this several times and always enjoy talking to young people about what I do. Here is the information from a handout that I will give to the students. It is a condensed version of an inservice I presented to educators this past fall. If any of you can use this information, feel free to copy and utilize as you please:
So You Want to be a Writer
Presented by Lisa Hall
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FUTURE WRITERS NEED TO:
1) Write everyday
2) Read like crazy
3) Pay attention in English class
4) Get published by entering contests, working on the school newspaper, yearbook, etc.
5) Check out these cool sites:
http://teenink.com (all kinds of contests)
www.judyblume.com (click on Kid’s page)
www.cuyahogafallslibrary.org (click on Teen Page link)
I write a story like I put together an outfit.
Scenario: Put on basics (pants and top). Add essentials (socks and shoes). Finish with accessories (jewelry, etc). Finally, I do a once-over to make sure it is all okay. Often, I will get another opinion.
When I write a story, the first draft is all about telling the basic premise of the story (beginning and end). Next, I put the most work into the middle. This is so important, because it is literally what moves the story from beginning to end. If the middle is boring, people may not finish the book. Then I add details and dialogue that make my story more interesting and my characters more identifiable. Finally, I edit for punctuation, spelling, flow, clarifications, boring words, overused words, and name checks.
Good writing keeps a reader interested.
Better writing gets the reader emotionally involved and/or touches the senses.
The best writing stays with the reader.
The ONLY thing that separates me from most others who want to be published is that I pursued it!