July 14

Birthdays: Irving Stone (1903), Leon Garfield (1921), Laura Joffe Numeroff (1953), Peggy Parish(1927), Brian Selznick (1966), F.R. Leavis (1895), Jeff Lindsay (1952), Natalia Ginzburg (1916), Susan Howatch (1940)

Tip: Plot is a series of events that make up a story. Think of it as a map that a driver follows from one point to another. There should be a sense of building. Check your scenes. Do they map out a logical route, or are there detours that lead to dead ends?

Thought for the day: “A lot of people who don’t write for kids think it’s easy, because they think kids aren’t as smart as they are, or that you have to dumb down what you would normally write for kids. But I think you have to work harder when you write for kids, to make sure every word is right, that it’s there for the right reason.” – Brian Selznick

Jumpstart: We’ve all read directions that come with “some assembly required” projects. Most are terrible. Find something you’ve done and write a step-by-step manual on how to do it the right way.

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