Writing Tips

Im a sophomore in high school, and I want to become a publishing author one day. I’ve read all four of your Alice books, and I’m now halfway through the fifth. You’re an amazing author!

I was just wondering if you had any tips for me. I have a hard time with characterization and plot. Also, I find it hard to keep my inspiration. Do you ever write something and then feel like it isn’t good enough?

Phyllis replied:
I think one of the most important tips I can give you is that to become an author, you need to want to write more than to become a published author.  It’s the writing itself that should give you satisfaction, even when it’s rough going.  Yes, I often feel that my writing isn’t “good enough,” and then I have to revise and rewrite, over and over, until it is very much better.  I guess you would need to read, read, read in order to become better at characterization and plot.  One of the things I suggest to get you going is to think about the most embarrassing time in your own life; the time when you were most sad; or angry; or shocked or surprised.  Then write a short paragraph about it, making it happen to someone else.  Change the beginning.  Change the ending.  Turn it over to your imagination and give it wings.  The very best writing starts inside the writer.

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