monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

1 minute reading time (293 words)

My Old Dollhouse

What in the world, you may well be asking yourself, does Monique's old dollhouse have anything to do with writing?

But it does. I mentioned my old dollhouse (one of my favourite childhood toys) last week in my Writing for Children class at Marianopolis College here in Montreal. My students are working on writing Chapter One of a junior novel (aged for readers who are about 11 to 14 years old) and I was explaining how my students can shift their characters from one small scene to another. I remembered (out loud), how I used to use my dollhouse to tell stories about the plastic people who lived in it. And I remember how as a child, I hated having to move those plastic people from one room to the other. Dragging them around on their plastic feet slowed my stories, disrupting the flow.

As a writer, I've sometimes felt the same way. So I have a simple trick to share with you today, dear blog reader. If you want to shift a scene, JUST DO IT. A trick I like to use is to simply add three stars (***) after one paragraph ends and I want to go someplace else with my story. This way, there is no need to drag my characters around on their plastic feet. ("Sean walked from the living room to the kitchen" or "Sean ran all the way to school.") Speaking of plastic feet, another thing we writers need to do is make sure our characters are real, not plastic. But that is the subject of another journal entry.

Beautiful day here in Montreal. I'm off for a run, then on to school...  to turn back into a teacher. Hope wherever you are, you're enjoying your day!

En francais!
The Air Was Thick With Stories


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Wednesday, 21 October 2020

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