If you are (or know) a reader of middle-grade adventure stories, you’re probably familiar with award winning author Kevin Lovegreen. His series, Lucky Luke’s Hunting Adventures, is a big hit among the families in our neighborhood.
Lovegreen gives presentations to promote the love of reading, writing, and the outdoors. I’m so happy that he agreed to contribute a blog post with some pointers for youth who dream of becoming an author (or simply passing Language Arts).
Take it away, Kevin!
“think about painting pictures with your words”
Do you want to become a better writer?
If you’re looking for some advice on becoming a better writer, think like a painter. What!? Yep, think about painting pictures with your words. As you are writing, and more importantly, when you go back and edit your writing, try to be as descriptive as possible. Remember, you are always writing to two people; one who knows what you are writing about and one that does not. Allow me to show you some examples of what I am talking about:
My cousin and I went outside to play. Some people might know you and your cousin, and they can picture that. Most people don’t and need more description, something like this:
My favorite cousin Mike, who is twelve years old just like me, wanted to go outside to play. Mike had on a dark blue baseball cap, and his shoulder-length brown hair stuck out of the back. His big smile, which is always on display, filled his face as we opened the white back door with the gold handle. The bright sunlight hit me in my blue eyes and made me blink. The warm August heat welcomed us as we walked across the bright green grass of the backyards.
Here are some pointers that could help with your writing:
- Use names to describe people and animals. That will help us connect with them better.
- Use as much color as possible when describing hair, clothing, cars, ATVs, clouds, the sky, and almost anything else.
- Your ultimate goal is to have your reader feel like they are looking at a picture of whatever you are describing.
Here is another example of painting a picture with your words:
I love my black lab named Trigger. He is two years old, has a red collar, and loves to snuggle. Trigger has lots of energy and will chase a green tennis ball all day long.
Now, what if I told you Trigger actually has a bright green collar that glows in the dark?
As a writer, you can paint any picture that you want your reader to see. How fun is that?
The best way to get better at writing is to practice. Pick story topics that you like and get writing. Be patient and give yourself enough time to do your best work. Have fun trying to come up with ways to be as descriptive as possible. How well can you describe sounds? Be creative. How many ways can you describe a crystal blue ocean? Is the water as cold as ice cubes or as warm as bathwater? Paint the picture.
If you are looking to become a better writer or just hope to pass the next writing assignment, I hope these pointers will help. Now, get writing.
Thank you for these writing tips, Kevin! Authors, what other advice would you give to aspiring authors? Post your pointers below. Readers, be sure to check out Kevin Lovegreen’s exciting books!