Woah Moments in Life and Stories

Woke up this morning to find a light layer of snow on the world. Not much - it'll be gone by tonight - but enough so that when I opened the curtains, I said 'wow!' without thinking. It was - for me, who doesn't watch weather forecasts - unexpected and instantly hearkened back to that very childish belief that snow is instinctively good because it means play and difference and maybe a day without school.

I mean 'childish' there in a very positive sense, by the way. You don't write children's books if you think childhood is just a phase that people need to get out of.

A lot of writing is about trying to recreate that feeling on the page - getting people to turn the page and be stunned for just a second because what happened wasn't normal or predictable or unnoticed. Things that are new and surprising and have that 'woah' factor - for children and adults - make great books.

So that's it for today. Want some homework? Find the things that make you stop for just a second and do a double take - and remember them.

(Completely unrelated but good - these 13 Writing Tips from Chuck Palahniuk. Number Ten - 'Write the book you want to read' - is so good)

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