There are a few days left to enter Figment's Mythical World Contest.
Entries of 500 words or less are due at the Figment website by the end of day, November 21. Read complete contest rules and guidelines here. Good luck!
Jim Collins studies leadership and corporate success and he's written numerous business books such as Good to Great, Built to Last, and Great by Choice. One of his concepts is that when undertaking a long (and perhaps difficult) journey, the best approach is to march twenty miles a day regardless of the weather and other conditions. Consistent progress toward a goal is better than long but undependable marches with rests in between. He uses the South Pole expedition leaders Roald Amundsen (who succeeded) and Robert Falcon Scott (who died during the expedition) to illustrate this. (Check this business article for more information about the twenty mile march.)
Now think about writing a novel. Is it better to write many pages on the weekend, skip a few days, and write another large chunk when time permits? Or is it better to write a page every single day?
What do you think? School and work may affect the answer to this. Is consistent advancement toward writing goals a key to success?
Today's blog features a guest post from Niki Masse Schoenfeldt, author of the picture book Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite.
Five Fun Facts about Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite
by Niki Masse Schoenfeldt
1. Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite was originally a short poem I didn’t know what to do with. My critique group, The Mudskippers, encouraged me to make it into a picture book.
2. I wrote the poem after spouting the old bedbug adage to my 2 year old at bedtime and she refused to sleep in her bed if bugs were going to bite her!
3. After ten months of submitting to publishers, Shenanigan Books finally snatched it up!
4. Originally, the bug in the little girl’s bed actually was a friendly bedbug, but my publisher was concerned about the whole bedbug infestation thing (Rightly so!) and suggested I make it a case of mistaken identity instead.
5. After some brainstorming I decided the “bedbug” should be a ladybug because ladybugs are not scary. In fact, my grandmother used to say they brought good luck.
Thanks for the guest post, Niki! I've always been told that ladybugs are good luck, too.
Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite is a featured book through the READING RAINBOW LEARN & READ app from Itunes.
Bio: Niki Masse Schoenfeldt grew up in a small town in Western Massachusetts where she began writing stories as soon as she could pick up a pencil. In the fall of 2008, her first picture book, NATURE’S LULLABY was released and her next picture book, DON’T LET THE BEDBUGS BITE! followed in 2012. Mrs. Schoenfeldt continues to write picture books as well as middle grade and young adult novels. Over the years she has worn many hats, including that of a book reviewer, critique group moderator, math & reading tutor, storyteller, mom, wife, painter, professional beach bum and she even once saved a sheep from drowning!
A brief tip to keep in mind as you write: it's important that you create obstacles for your characters to overcome. Don't make important problems too easy to solve. Nabokov's quote (above) gets at the heart of this concept. Besides making the story more interesting, creating obstacles also helps the reader to root for your characters.
What obstacles are your characters currently facing? How can you make the fictional situation worse?
Disclaimer: "throw rocks" is not meant literally. No kittens were harmed in the writing of this blog post.
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