Brandon Sanderson has many excellent YouTube videos about writing fiction. In a 2020 class, he states: "In your writing, focus on what excites you about the story, and get the story done. Then go back and fill in what needs to be there." Of course, every writer is different. You have to do what works … Continue reading First Draft – Focus on what excites you about your story (If you’re bored writing it, I don’t want to read it.)
Are you working on a novel and need help with story structure? If so, I recommend THE PLOT WHISPERER by Martha Alderson. In chapter 2, there's an overview of the "Universal Story." Alderson writes: "Tap into the Universal Story and better direct the flow of your story to connect with your reader on a deep … Continue reading The Universal Story
Welcome back to toydust.com where we talk books, toys, and writing! The correlation between books and writing is obvious, but what about toys? Why include toys with a blog about books and writing? A good question perhaps, but here's another one: What happens when you play with toys? As a kid, the first stories I … Continue reading Books, Toys, and Writing
Dialogue is what a character says in your story. A dialogue tag is a short phrase that goes along with a line of dialogue that lets the reader know which character is speaking. For example: "Let's go to a movie," said Jennifer. DIALOGUE: "Let's go to a movie," DIALOGUE TAG: said Jennifer. Easy enough, right? … Continue reading Dialogue Tags
Would you like to become a children's book author or illustrator? If so, you should be aware of this guide: The cover does a good job selling it. It gives you the following information about publishers and magazines: *which publishers are open to submissions without agent representation (and those who are not) *submission guidelines *what … Continue reading Children’s Writer’s & Illustrators Market
Newbery-winning author Richard Peck said, "You are only as good as your first sentence." That sounds a bit harsh. Is it fair for someone to judge your entire story from only one sentence? Maybe not, but it happens all the time. Think about people browsing in a book shop, trying to decide which one to … Continue reading What should be in the first sentence of your novel?
Welcome back! Today's topic? What should be on the first page of your novel? At a writing conference I attended, editor Alyson Heller spoke on this topic. Here are some things she looks for in the beginning of a novel: *Not bogged down with info-dumping *There needs to be emotion right away *Needs to see … Continue reading What should be on the first page of your novel?
Good morning my toy-dustian friends! It's time for a writing tip. Okay. Let's pretend you're writing a Toydust fan-fiction story. Because let's be honest. Who wouldn't want to write a fan-fic about me? (insert sarcasm) And let's further pretend you had written something like: "Toydust walked excitedly out of Dallas Vintage Toys, thrilled with his … Continue reading What Are Strong Verbs?