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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Overview Nonfiction: Timeless: Personality

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

“People are always interested in other people.” Jane Fitz-Randolph

Whether historical or current there is no end of potential people to write about whether well-known or unknown.

Find the Angle.

From age two, one of my grandsons was mesmerized by a story about Michael Jordan, Salt in His Shoes, written by his mother Deloris Jordan. The story was based on a particular summer in Michael’s life when he struggled to play basketball with the big kids in the neighborhood park and how his commitment turned his despair into success. At first I only shared a few words per page here and there but day after day my grandson would still ‘read’ the story carefully turning the pages. As he grew older I read all the words and he understood the story even more. One specific insight into this gifted athlete opened up a whole new generation to recognize, love, family, perseverance, and faith through this true story.

Be interesting to a broad range Audience.

Although the vocabulary in Salt in His Shoes fit more for fourth grade and older the detailed illustrations pulled in the younger readers and the emotional storyline pulled in the adults. Regardless of your immediate intended audience look for the themes that are universal and ageless and their truths will cross age, race, and culture. Life matters.

Be Authentic. The research needs to be solid. If you include interviews be sure to get permission. If you are doing historical research and find conflicting material give the reasons for the discrepancy and why it is an issue.

Find fresh material or Application. Many years after World War ll many movies, novels and life stories were written about the behind scenes espionage, life changes, and hidden atrocities that occurred. Ordinary people worked hard incognito to save others. Women played a much more dangerous role in many battles that were not acknowledged or revealed at the time due to danger for them and their work. What factors will connect to your specific audience and age group?

How might the British women’s contribution of code and cypher breaking at Bletchley Park and the Native American Navajo Code Talkers be of interest today skill and study wise? Or the recently released movie Hidden Figures that unveils the three women math geniuses that played such an important role in NASA. Why did it take so long to release their stories?

Look at your own curiosity questions and see if there are any behind the scenes people to acknowledge.

Action Steps:

1.     Using the above italic outline write down any potential ideas.

2.     Choose the two most interesting to focus your purpose.

3.     Outline what sources you already have and where you need to do research.

4.     Write up a sample outline for an interview to fill in either in person or from research material.

Share: Who has been an influential person to you in this topic you are sharing and why?

Read deep, marcy

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