Saturday, May 13, 2006

Roadblocks removed

The best part about having read so many picture books, in a condensed amount of time, is what I learned from other authors. The online workshop I've been taking is great, I've grown tremendously, there's no denying that. But no one can teach what can be learned through simply reading. A lot.

Over the years, I've had many story ideas swishing around in my head, but wasn't quite sure, or confident enough, about taking them beyond simple ideas into full-blown stories. I thought I needed a new subject, something unheard of, unique. I figured, all my story ideas had already been told. But, I've realized that there aren't really any new subjects. Excluding current world events, those things that will happen tomorrow, there is no topic that I could write about, that hasn't already been written about. But, there are new voices. There are fresh ways to say something that's already been said, and new ways to discuss old problems. That realization is a major roadblock removed.

Now, if only I could understand the difference between a semi colon, and an extra long dash.

Unrelated link for the day: Yes, you will do a double-take. But this ain't me. It's my brother.


rindawriter said...

Best way to handle dashes? Just use very, very sparingly--if at all. LIke I just did in the above sentence.

A semicolon gennerally links two closely related, more complex sentences; however, it is also sometimes used to separate items in a list.

(The above sentence demonstrates how a comma links two closely related sentences.)

You can always break down a complex, semicolon- linked sentence into two separate, simple sentences, each with a period at the end.

It's wisest, in writing for yougner children especially, to just go with the simpler sentences and don't worry about using the dash and semicolon at all.

Leave their frequent usage to the literary, erudite, writing-for-adults-and-YA writer folks. Younger children want action and a good story. They don't like being stopped by getting all tangled up in the dashes and semicolons....

ShellyP said...

Yeah, he's definitely your brother! :)