Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Trying to keep the wheels on the wagon....

Well, people of cyberland, it’s the end of May and you know what that means! Yep! It’s also the end of the school year. Since I teach third grade, this is a crazy time when we try to keep a lid on the rising energy levels and general hysteria of a bunch of young kiddos who can smell summer vacation in the air. It’s not easy, let me tell you. I am always struck by the similarities between writing a novel and wrangling a bunch of third graders. Here are the top three.

1. Plot threads are like kids, they tend to run in all different directions. When you’re coming down to that last few chapters, there are numerous things to resolve. The romantic arc? Check. The inspirational arc? Check! The various suspense threads? Double check! Don’t leave anything hanging or you’re likely to have some unhappy reader mail!

2. The work doesn’t stop when the bell rings. Every teacher and writer knows that success involves putting in many outside hours in both planning and execution. After those precious words are written,  edits and revisions are done, and the book has been birthed....the work of promotion begins. People aren’t going to find your amazing book unless you let them know all about it via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, website etc.

3.  Both teaching and writing are a combination of art and science, if you will. Teachers have all kinds of formal training in the science of how to best instruct their students. The really great teachers have that intuitive ability in the art of motivating, encouraging, interesting and inspiring their subjects. Writing is like that, too. It’s important to know the nuts and bolts of how to put words together on a page, but the artistry comes in when elevating those words to encouragement, motivate and inspire readers.

So what do you think? Am I on the mark or is the tip of my crayon a bit dull these days?




Dana’s newest book is the first in a new series. Mitch Whitehorse is living his worst nightmare when his serial killer brother escapes from prison. He will have to partner with his brother’s ex wife to put the monster behind bars one last time.



https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Ranch-Riveting-Suspense-Roughwater-ebook/dp/B07L1SWDFS/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Danger+on+the+Ranch&qid=1558977616&s=gateway&sr=8-1



5 comments:

  1. Dana, I love your analogy! I hadn't thought about it before now, but you're right. Teaching and writing are similar. So many things to juggle in both professions. And I'm sure by this time of the year, the kids and teachers are ready for a break.

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  2. Enjoy your summer, Dana! You're so creative! I know your kids love having you as their teacher!

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  3. You look adorable, Dana! Makes me want to go out and buy a brand new box of crayons!

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  4. This is a great post, Dana. I love the similarities between teaching 3rd graders and writing. I can definitely see kids and plots going in all directions LOL. Third grade teachers are so important. That's a wonderful, impressionable age. I'm sure they adore you. Looks like you bring the FUN to the classroom.

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  5. Right on point, Dana! I teach 6,7,8 and it's every bit as difficult to corral them at this point in the year (though we still have 3+ weeks to go).

    The difference is - I can avoid my writing (not without a price, of course), but I can't shirk on the teaching duties. No escaping those. Though we did do an escape room today!

    I'm reading your K-9 book now and loving it! Nothing new there. I love all your books.

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