“When Words Connect”

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I’m working on a rough draft of a new picture book and I must say I’m quite excited by it. The subject is fun and wacky and so is the writing. One of the things I find thrilling is the process of connecting the words together – almost like a puzzle. A beautiful flowering puzzle.

Every writer, particularly the children book writer, needs to make every word count, needs to weigh every word for meaning, substance, readability for the young mind, and of course entertainment value.

I love puns and imagination – so do children. That’s where snapping words together comes in. Sometimes the process of writing is either a solid smooth piece or it is many jagged fragments.

Maybe it depends on the writer’s mood on a certain day of writing, when the words come out either forced, or they flow. Nonetheless, the writer must work on the puzzle to craft it to fit into a dazzling manuscript.

It’s a great feeling when words and thoughts connect into a cohesive story that can bond with the child reader for the rest of his or her life. Stories I still carry with me inside from childhood are: all Dr. Seuss books, The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, Lad A Dog, Eloise, Beautiful Joe, Curious George, and Good Night, Good Knight.

Your input: If you’re a writer, what helps you put the puzzle pieces together? As a reader, what children’s books have stuck with you through your childhood into adulthood?

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8 thoughts on ““When Words Connect”

    • Thank you so much, Carole. Coming from a broadcast journalism background, brevity is a must. It transfers nicely to writing for children. Please let me know which book(s) shaped your childhood, or you at least found entertaining.

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  1. I hated reading as a child and didn’t much care for people reading to me. So I don’t really have any books that I loved until I became a nanny and grew into loving children’s books and adult books. I did enjoy The Box Car Children, but I read them way later than any of my friends ever read them due to my reading issues.

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  2. I like the analogy of writing as a puzzle. There are so many ways that words “could” fit together. That’s the task of editing: finding the right fit of words so the result looks seamless.

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  3. Good luck with your new manuscript! I hope to get back to writing picture books soon. You’re right, every word counts and it seems like those word counts are getting shorter and shorter. A favorite picture book of mine is “Miss Rumphius”.

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