Happy Birthday, Linda Sue Park, born 25 March 1960.
- I get ideas from reading books and articles, listening to people talk, watching TV and movies; from things I see and hear; from sitting around daydreaming. Ideas are everywhere: The important thing is to find the ones that interest you.
- READ! If you want to be a writer, you have to read A LOT. Reading is training for writers the same way that working out is training for athletes! That’s the most important tip, READ, READ, READ, READ, READ, READ!
- Keep a ‘list journal’. Lists are great! Get a notebook and make lists of your favourite songs, foods, baseball players, books (of course). The ten things that bug you the most. Fifty things you want to do in the future. Five things you’ve done once but never want to do again. The thinking process that goes along with keeping a list can sometimes lead to more writing—you might end up writing a poem or a story about how you happened to eat a caterpillar and why you’ll never do it again.
- I write almost every day. On most of my writing days, I sit down at the keyboard in the morning and I don’t get up until I’ve written at least two pages. On good days, two pages becomes twenty. But—and this is key—when I sit down to write I never know for sure which kind of day it’s going to become. I do my two pages no matter how crummy I feel about writing that day … and when I’m lucky, the act of writing itself turns the day into a good one.
- Theme should grow out of the character and the story. If a writer begins with theme, the story is likely to be heavy-handed and messagey … the kind of book kids run away from. And I’m running right beside them!
- Whether a wondrous story or a hilarious passage of dialogue or a beautiful sentence or a memorable image, every bit of reading I do helps my own writing. The rhythm of language and the way words combine to communicate more than their dictionary meanings infuse the serious reader’s mind and emerge transformed when that reader sits down to write.
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