Archive for August, 2010

3d clown - puppet, juggling with color ballsWriting poems is a lot like juggling – you have to remember to do so many things all at one time. If you are writing a rhyming poem, Rhyme Zone can definitely help.


It is an online rhyming dictionary that gives rhymes by number of syllables and indicates the more common rhymes.

You can also find synonyms, definitions, and much more.  Check it out.

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Like Poetry?

Have you been to Poet David L. Harrison’s website?

He’s the author of more than 70 books, and he has a regular poetry contest for kids.

Check out his website:  http://www.davidlharrison.com/

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Look at your writing.   A sentence should contain no unneccessary words and a paragraph no unneccessary sentences.  This does not mean your sentences should be short or that you avoid all detail.  What it does mean is you need to make sure each word adds to your story.

He did not remember, could be simply said – He forgot.

He did not pay attention to, could be said as  – He ignored.

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Author Joyce Hostetter

Author Joyce Hostetter writes historical fiction.

Visit her website to see information on her books, and follow her blog to learn about her writing process.


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A YAAGroup member asked this question:  What does a character-driven story mean?  One of the things YAAGroup provides is “Ask Izzy.”  It’s a place for members to ask questions.  Izzy answers their questions.  We thought we’d give you part of her answer.

There are lots of things to think about when starting to write a story–the idea, the plot, the characters.  But what makes a  story good is having a character people want to read about.  A character you want to keep visiting and follow throughout an entire book.  Is your character someone readers cares about?  Will the reader remember your character long after they put down your book?  Is your character driving the reader to finish the story?  If they are doing all those things, then you have a character-driven story.

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Eileen Spinelli’s Website

Have you been to author Elieen Spinelli’s website?

Do you know she’s written close to 50 books?


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When writing a story, you want a character that the reader is willing to follow for the length of the story.  That means making the character sympathetic in some way.  The character doesn’t have to be likable, but the reader has to identify and sympathize with them.  Here are a few ideas on creating sympathetic characters.

  • Give the main character something or someone to love.  It might be an elderly grandmother or her lost dog, but everyone loves someone or something.  Reveal it to the reader.
  • Use humor.  Main characters don’t have to be hilariously funny, but the ability to laugh at themselves makes them more likeable.
  • People usually root for the underdog, so stack the odds against the main character.

There are lots more ideas in the members’ section of the YAAGroup.org.

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Attractive Woman with Her BooksIn writing, genre is just a fancy word for categories of books.

A few fiction genres are:  historical, romance, graphic novels, mystery, fantasy, and horror. Genres can be mixed or combined to make a melded genre, like historical fantasy.

There are categories within Nonfiction too.  A few of those are biography, history, science, or animals.

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Here’s a contest for “Animal Rescue: fans age 16 and under. Send drawings of your favorite animals.

They select one drawing every month to post on their website. The winner receives an official “Animal Rescue” Prize Package.

Details are here:  http://www.animalrescuetv.com/kids-art.shtml

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Jerry Spinelli’s Website

Have you read any of Jerry Spinelli’s books? Do you like them?

Here’s a link to his website:   http://www.jerryspinelli.com/newbery_002.htm

All kinds of fun stuff there, including starting a Stargirl Society!

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