Advice For Young Writers

Make sure that your formatting is consistent throughout your work. If you start with a green crayon, keep using it. Don’t switch to blue halfway through.

Be sure to vary your modifiers. Here, you’ve got “poopy” in the first paragraph and “poopyhead” right after that. I would substitute in “stinkypants.” Think about it.

Set aside time to write. Having a consistent schedule helps build discipline and good writing habits. You might start with Saturday between ten o’clock and noon, if only because that lets your parents sleep in a little bit.

Always respect the integrity of your work. That’s another way of saying “don’t spill apple juice all over it.” That’s what the sippy cup is there for.

Every good writer needs a mentor – someone to pattern themselves after, someone to inspire them, someone to help shape their style. There’s nothing wrong with that. But please don’t use Khloe. She’s not even good at fingerpainting yet. And I’m not sure her parents even went to college. I mean, they’re nice people and all. Don’t get me wrong.

One trick I always use is that when I create a character, I do an interview with them in my mind, get them to answer questions. It’s a great way to explore their personalities. Kind of like an imaginary friend, I guess. Just a little. Except imaginary friends aren’t real. And they don’t need to eat any goldfish crackers.

Never use a short word when a long word will do the trick just fine. Especially if you can’t spell the long word. “Canine” starts with a C. Just say “doggie.”

Do everything you can to cultivate your inner voice. I said “inner.” Like your inside voice, but so quiet only you can hear it.

The best environment for any writer is one where it’s quiet and as free from distraction as possible. So, no, I’m not turning on The Wiggles. Just forget about it.

If the best way to make your characters likeable is to have them do likeable things, it stands to reason that the best way to make them unlikeable is to have them do unlikeable things. Like, you know, rattling the mini-blinds every single time you go near the window. It’s incredibly annoying. I’ve only said that, like, a thousand times, so cut it out already. I’m serious.

Write what you know. What you know is swing sets. So write about swing sets. If I can get a fifty-word review of the one at the playground before naptime, you can have a Fig Newton. Heck, make it two. Come on, that’s more than what the HuffPo pays me.

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