I don’t know about you, but it’s been a good while since I’ve written something brand new. Sure, I’ve worked on manuscripts that have been sitting on my hard drive for almost a year or more. I even finished researching one non-fiction project that was almost two years in the making, and is now out on submission. But as far as opening a fresh page and starting a shiny new story…it’s just not happening.
Back before this blog was officially launched, I posted a response to J.’s idea notebook with my own notebook idea. I bought a composition book and asked my students: What makes you keep turning the pages past your bedtime? Which books get lost in your bedroom, kicked under the bed, and forgotten?
I set the composition book on the chalkboard tray and let them write in it whenever they felt like it.
Oh, and they felt like it. So to get myself out of the nothing-new-lately rut as I head into summer vacation (when I’ll have more time to write), I decided to turn to my students’ wisdom for some inspiration. Ready? Here we go…
I couldn’t take a photo of this first student’s entry because someone else scrawled her wisdom on the back of this page in purple Sharpie, but here’s what he wrote: “I like all parts of a book, but my favorite part is the beginning because of the questions.”
Okay, I just need a first chapter that makes kids want to keep reading to find out what happens next.
I’ll get right on that.
Sure–all I need for a good middle is a lot of stuff. Good stuff.
I’m on my way…
Now for the ending:
What!? Don’t think I don’t know your handwriting, Miss I Don’t Like Books That Make Me Think…
How about a more general piece of advice:
So funny is in, I guess. I suppose now I’ll have to throw out that boring manuscript I’ve been working on so diligently…
On to more wisdom:
New to the list: two series, one about wolves and wizards, and another about an elementary school. Perhaps I could combine the two into a mega-series about wolves who sit at desks and go to recess and learn their multiplication facts, all with the help of wizards.
Or maybe not.
But I love that she likes series because she never wants the story to end.
Time to end this post and start brainstorming…