By Melissa Stoller
April is a wonderful month to put a spring into your step as you gather ideas like flowers for new manuscripts or existing stories. Here are some exercises to help you pick your brainstorming bouquet:
1) Visit a botanical garden or a neighborhood park. Notice flowers, trees, vegetable patches, and insects buzzing around. Can any of these details spring into your story?
2) Go birdwatching or watch some videos of birds and nature. Listen to the birdsongs. If you are using binoculars, notice objects in trees and all around. Perhaps some of the activity you zoom in on will help clarify a plot point or character development in a story.
3) This season is perfect for some spring cleaning. As you tidy up your space, take stock of the objects you own. What memories spring to mind as you sort? Perhaps you can catch an idea through this process.
4) With a purposeful skip and spring in your step, stroll through your neighborhood. Take a journal with you and jot down conversations you overhear, scenes that catch your eye, pets or other animals nearby, and details such as clothing, food, sights, and smells. Perhaps this experience will lead to a new plot idea.
I hope these springtime prompts help you find and cultivate story sparks this month. Let me know in the comments!
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 our new blogger coming soon.
4th Mondays features new blogger, the fabulous Brentom Jackson, who has a beautiful approach to blogging.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break