Sunday, November 29, 2009

how to


My 12 year old daughter, a diligent writer as well as being over 600 drawings into an animated cartoon she's putting together in iMovie, recently showed me this bit of writing advice she devised for herself. I found it to be so compact and thorough that I wanted to share it.


1. Figure out what you like. Write about what you like most.
2. Think up the setting.
3. Get the main characters. Your story would be especially interesting with a hero or two, and a villain.
4. Remember three things: Beginning, Middle, and End.
5. Imagine your story. Relate it to something important to you in your life. It could be the fact that you don’t fit in. Have the main character someone who is special and is left out because of this.
6. Eat some pie.
7. Begin to write the basic summary. This will help you get ideas.
8. When finished, begin putting the meat on the bones. (a.k.a: START WRITING!!!!)
9. Put in a lot of details.
10. When you’re done, you can ANIMATE IT!!

9 comments:

Martha Brockenbrough said...

She is a genius!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

This kid is clearly a genius. It's the first writing advice I have ever read that cut to the quick so quickly. She has served up the true secret of the making of great literature: pie. It was right there in front of us all along.

Paul Schmid said...

I'm sure Jaime would argue for cupcakes, but I find a heap of power in pie myself.

Deb Lund said...

What a kid! How fun. I want to introduce her to my son. Could you send her over to http://portalreads.edublogs.org???
Don't tell him. I'll be in big trouble.

CocoaStomp said...

Pie or cupcakes, both work for me, man. I also like the reference to meat in Number 8 and ANIMATING!! in Number 10.
Do you guys have Richard Williams's THE ANIMATOR'S SURVIVAL KIT?

Paul Schmid said...

Deb, I'll have her take a look.

Jaime, We'll check that book out too.

Red Fish Circle said...

This is great, wise beyond her years - love the very necessary pie break.

laura kvasnosky said...

dear paul -- i am such an admirer of your work -- and perhaps, now i see, your genes. do you know the song that gillian welch sings called ONE SONG?

the lyrics include:
there's gotta be a song left to sing -- 'cause everybody can't have thought of everything.
...
one little piece of endless sky,
one little taste of cherry pie
one little week in paradise and i start thinking
there's gotta be a song left to sing.

how did your daughter know about the pie?
best of luck with your new book. can't wait to see it.
all best,
laura kvasnosky

Paul Schmid said...

Thanks Laura! I'll have to play that song for Anna. She'll love it if it has pie in it!