Writing Tips

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  • Go to museums. Museums of all kinds. Wander around in them. Museums force us to ask questions we wouldn’t otherwise have thought to ask. If you haven’t been going to museums (which are idea storage places), try it. You’ll see what I mean.
  • Of course you keep a writer’s notebook. And maybe you reorganize it often. Hard to figure out the best arrangement, yes? Keep trying different ways
  • Be very, very careful about whom you show your writing to. If you’ve read the novel Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, you know exactly what I mean. If you don’t know the book yet, find it and read it. You’ll see why it’s so important to choose extremely carefully who gets to look at your writing.
  • Turn off the sound of a TV show and make up the talk as you watch. Try it for one minute. Then for two minutes. Keep going. You’ll be surprised. Writing ideas will emerge if you let them.
  • List all the opposites you can think of. By the time you’ve filled a notebook page with pairs of opposites, you’ll have several ideas you can sculpt into stories, poems, songs.
  • List at least ten things you find hilarious. Keep the list for a year. Then review the list and see what changes you want to make. You might want to do this on each birthday. (The painter Rembrandt made nearly 90 self-portraits.) You’ll see how the story of you is reaching, turning, bending, shaping itself.
  • Drop in on any of these writers’ websites for more ideas:

Tim Wynne-Jones > Tips 

Jane Yolen: For writers and For kids

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh