It's not Saint Patrick's Day, but we're lucky, lucky, lucky to open our doors and welcome Guest TeachingAuthor Barbara Krasner, who offers us a dynamite Wednesday Writing Workout for the New Year.
|As long as we're feeling lucky, enter our latest book giveaway!|
Details at the end...
She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MBA in Marketing from Rutgers University, and blogs at The Whole Megillah/The Writer’s Resource for Jewish-themed Children’s Books. Barbara is currently on the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee.
Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in Poetica, Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, Mused-BellaOnline Literary Review, Jewishfiction.net, in the Paterson Literary Review; she was a semi-finalist in the 2013 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry in the upcoming Nimrod International Journal (!!)
Barbara is definitely a TeachingAuthor, teaching creative writing in the English department of William Paterson University and a workshop, Writing Jewish-themed Children’s Books at the Highlights Foundation.
You see what I mean when I say we're lucky to have her come by today? WOWZA!
And now, here's Barbara with the Writing Workout
she's cooked up for us!
she's cooked up for us!
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, comes early this year and I’m glad. It gives me the opportunity to reflect on the past year and think about the coming year even before the leaves fall. I’m giving you a Rosh Hashanah challenge in three parts.
Part One: Rosh Hashanah, literally translated as head of the year, is a perfect time to think about the beginning of your manuscript. How many times do we hear that if we can’t grab the agent/editor/reader within just a few seconds, he or she will just move on to something else?
Ask yourself the following questions:
• Do you have a compelling title?
• Does your first line grab the reader? (My all-time favorites are from M.T. Anderson, “The woods were silent except for the screaming,” and from Kate DiCamillo, “My name is Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog.”)
• Have you presented the main character on the first page?
• Have you presented the problem within the first page, the first chapter?
These questions apply to fiction and nonfiction alike.
What are your first lines?
When I think about this for myself, I think about:
• I will cast off my lack of organization – I will organize all those papers into folders with easy-to-read tabs and file the folders
• I will cast off watching reality TV (TCM movies only) – I need more time to write
• I will cast off working on a gazillion projects at once – I will focus on one genre at a time, and right now, that’s poetry, and okay, picture books
• I will cast off reading several books at once – I commit to reading a book fully before moving on to another.
You get the idea. What will you cast off?
Thank you so much for your three-part Rosh Hashanah writing challenge, Barbara, and shana tovah!
But wait! Before you head off to write about a memorable New Year, be sure to enter for a chance to win a copy of Lisa Morlock's terrific rhyming picture book, Track that Scat! (Sleeping Bear Press).