By Melissa Stoller
This is a great month to skip, dash, and MARCH toward ideas! Here are a few exercises to help inspire your next story or to add details to a current manuscript:
1) Write out the word “MARCH” and then brainstorm thoughts that spring to mind. I think about marching in parades. I also remember Jo March from the novel Little Women. Finally, I visualize months of the year. Does anything on your list inspire a story idea?
2) Jot down some childhood memories of activities you remember doing in the month of March. For me, there was often snow in March, and I remember sledding. Go through your list and notice trends that stand out that could form a story arc.
3) Next, note any travel experiences you have had during the month of March. Family spring break trips to a beach destination immediately surface. Jot down memorable sights, foods you enjoyed, and any souvenirs you brought home. Do any of these experiences lend themselves to your current work?
4) Finally, look outside your window during the days and the evenings. What do you see? Where I live, flowers often start sprouting toward the end of the month. Also the stars are bright on a clear night. Include some sensory details you note in your manuscripts.
This month, MARCH toward collecting ideas from brainstorming, remembering past experiences, and observing your surroundings. I hope this will help spark your creativity. Let me know in the comments.
(Image from Canva)
Melissa Stoller writes to bring connection, joy, and a bit of magic to her readers. She is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Return to Coney Island, and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush; Ready, Set, GOrilla!; Sadie’s Shabbat Stories; Planting Friendship: Peace, Salaam, Shalom; and Building Bridges: Peace, Salaam, Shalom (co-written with Callie Lovvorn and Shirin Rahman). Melissa is a Blogger and Course Assistant for the Children’s Book Academy, a Rate Your Story Judge, a volunteer with SCBWI/MetroNY, a Book Meshuggenahs member, a Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Advisory Council member, and a past school and synagogue Trustee. She also interviews authors and offers resources on her blog. In other chapters of her life, Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer/editor, and early childhood educator. She lives in New York City with her family, and enjoys theatre, museums, and Central Park walks. Melissa is represented by Jonathan Rosen at The Seymour Agency.
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We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
4th Mondays will be a mystery for right now.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break