A short story can be read in a brief period, about as long as it takes to read a newspaper or magazine article. Think of it as a quick escape that transports the reader into the world of a few characters who overcome a significant challenge over the lunch hour. Of course, the period in the story can be a little longer, but it raises the need for carefully chosen words that paint a picture of the characters and the situation at hand as succinctly as possible.
Each Thanksgiving holiday, and at other family gatherings, stories are shared around the dinner table. Someone always says, “You know, we really should write a book about all these family stories.” Everyone agrees and the merriment continues. In a few days, the memories fade, even the ones about writing a book, until the next time.
Fantasy stories allow our imaginations to conjure up entirely new worlds, characters, and even magical powers. Our exploration of these realms and adventures is limited only by how much we can dream. Blending real world events, battles, cultures and places into a fantastical adventure helps to ground the reader while immersing them in the story.
You have experience with something that you have done repeatedly for years, either as a hobby or as part of your job. Turning this knowledge into a book that can help hundreds of other people is a relatively simple task. A little planning and organization of the information, and the writing will come easy.
A memoir is a factual account of a story from the author’s memory. A good memoir has the reader engrossed in the story, as with any good work of fiction. The memoir is more like the story about the events rather than a simple narrative of the events themselves. This gives the writer some flexibility compared to writing the timeline of an autobiography.
Children’s books are fun. That’s such an important rule that it deserves repeating. Children’s books are fun. Children learn best when they are having fun. Fun inspires creativity, curiosity, and adventure, all essential elements of learning. If you adhere strongly to this principle of fun in all of your writing and illustration of children’s books, you are already on the right track.
A compelling mystery story gets the reader connected with the crime almost immediately. When you start writing, be sure you are clear on what the mystery is and how you will solve it at the end. A murder, typical of most good mysteries, will have circumstances, evidence, a feasible method, and maybe even a motivation that may not become clear until later.
Sometimes events seem to conspire against you. It seems that several things decide to go sideways all at the same time. In addition to struggling with the writing of your book, you now face a completely new set of challenges that you didn’t anticipate. Each new challenge feels like a step backwards and it adds to the pile of an already monumental project. Your normal rhythm of writing and work life is disrupted.