Hullo fabulous creative, if you are like most writers and have to deal with your present, past and future tenses running away and getting mixed up, read on. In today's blogpost, that is largely lifted from a newsletter that I recently sent out, I'm going to give you a super easy tip for dealing with wrangling tenses along with a few other super helpful writer's tips. :)
Print out your manuscript and get 3 contrasting highlighters, eg, pink, yellow, and blue.
Now go through your manuscript and highlight all your past tenses together with one color. Then do the same with each of your remaining tenses so that it’s clear where you are switching tenses. Finally, especially with younger age stories, pick a tense and do your best to stick with it. Of course there may be parts where you need to change tenses, but this will help you be very mindful of where you are doing it and whether it's needed.
Here’s a fun joke: The Past and the Future walked into a bar. Things were pretty tense.
Need some sparkle in your story?
If your story is a little lackluster - make or use some metaphors or similes. A metaphor or simile can add poetry or it can add humor. Metaphors are when you put two dissimilar things together to evoke an emotion or provide a poetic description. “Melanie looked out at a sea of smiles.”
A simile is a type of metaphor, but where you use the word “like” or “as” as in my soon to come example.
I’m currently in the final stages of putting together what’s shaping up to be another truly groundbreaking course. This one is an inspirational craft course on writing funny books for kids or infusing humor into existing stories. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve laughed out loud, but in the section on metaphors and similes, that also incorporates the element of surprise, I added this little simile example, “Melanie’s face was like the sun. [page turn]. It was big and round and hot and yellow. Oh no! What was wrong with Melanie?”
If you are interested in exploring metaphors and similes, here are some cool resources.
And some great similes
If you'd like to play with sections from your own work and learn from others, learn llots and maybe win a prize, register now for our fab FREE INTERACTIVE ONLINE WORKSHOP/TRAINING on character, emotion, and action in picture books, which all writers will learn from. This Thursday April 5th in the comfort of your own home, library, or cafe! Just click the link below to register. http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/the-writers-trifecta.html
Tip #4 (the very best tip)
Join the most helpful picture book writing course that you’ll ever take with MANY submission opportunities, a fab $40 discount and more extraordinary news to come! http://bit.ly/cbwpb
I hope some of this has been helpful. Do join us in our upcoming free workshop. And if any of this has been helpful, please leave a comment below. :)
Brief Bio: Dr. Mira Reisberg is the founding director of the Childre's Book Academy, an Editor and Art Director and an A type overachieving creative with a ridiculously long resume! Mira is passionately committed to helping people make wonderful children's books to get them published and into children's hands.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature the fabulous debut author/illustrator Maggie Brown.
And 5th Mondays will feature a surprise reprise from over nine years of archives.