Eliminate Writers Block using the CRAB method

One of the biggest problems writers face is most widely known as “writers block.” We have all experienced it and most of us feel like we must stop our writing process until that blank section in our brain is unblocked. I have learned a way to unblock this pesky problem so you will never have to begin pulling your hair out or have a strong desire to punch a hole in your computer screen again. As all of us writers already know, we NEVER know when a great idea will jump into our minds. We would be working out at the gym, taking a walk or especially just before we fall asleep. We write our ideas down as soon as...

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Know Your Characters

Just like an old friend, it’s important to actually know your characters. What are their ages? What kind of job do they do? If they are still in school, what are their favorite and least liked subjects? Do they have any silly or weird quirks? Are they nervous, laid back, full of energy, talkative, quiet, and the list goes on. Every one of your characters should have something unique about them that sets them apart from the other characters. Even their hair makes a difference. Is it long, short, pulled back or un-kept? Is it brown, red, white or starting to gray? Do they wear glasses that they keep taking off and putting back on as though they don’t know...

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How to Write for Young Readers

There is a difference between writing for adults and young readers. I’m not talking about the PG vs. rated R stuff. I’m talking about how the minds of young people absorb information differently than the more mature minds. When you are writing for older people, you can skip over some of the detail or dialog that makes up a story more than you could with younger readers. I am not saying that these things need to be omitted from the older reader’s writings, but they just don’t need to be repeated as often or drawn out more in order for the reader to understand what you are trying to convey. Young readers are just leaving the “picture book” genre and...

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How do Develop Fun Characters

One of the reasons I love writing for young readers is because I get to come up with fun characters. But coming up with fun characters is not as easy as it sounds. You have to travel way out of the box if you want to enchant your readers, so having a wild imagination helps. But there really is a process in developing fun characters. What works for me is first looking around in your mind the area you want your story to take place. When I wrote The Secret World of Farallon, I had to look in the ocean and be aware of what was going on out there. I actually didn’t have a clue about what goes on...

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Don’t Edit

One of the first things I ask other writers whenever I speak at a lecture is “do you edit your work?” Many say “yes” while everyone else usually nods in agreement. Of course I edit my work. After all, I’m not completely crazy. But then I ask “when does your editing start?” I am usually met with blank stares at first. So I help them out. “Do you start editing after your first page?” A few hands go up. “How about after you are done with your first chapter?” More hands go up. I smile at them and then say, “don’t do that.” Then I am met with the writers looking at each other not sure what to say. Let...

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