Monday, March 16, 2009

With a child's pen

I attended a lecture given by an elementary school teacher the other day. This teacher also is a multi-published author of non-fiction books.

During his presentation, he admitted the different writing styles of elementary school students fascinated him. He said you can give a writing assignment to two students in the same class. One student will approach the assignment with great energy and enthusiasm. She'll write page after page after page after page tirelessly. But her four-page assignment will be one run-on sentence.

The second student will approach the same assignment very studiously. Each sentence will have a noun and a verb that are in agreement. Each sentence will be punctuated correctly. Each paragraph will begin in the appropriate place. But, even though her assignment is mechanically correct, it will lack the energy and emotion that comes from the type of enthusiasm the first student demonstrated in her writing.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever found yourself so focused on the mechanics of writing - point of view, scene and sequel - that you're in danger of losing your creativity? I have. I'm struggling through that with my current work-in-progress.

We should all remind ourselves - frequently - that it's about the story. Enjoy the adventure. We can worry about the mechanics in revision.

Happy writing!



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