Revising is sometimes required for writing. The story may need more than a simple grammar fix. Sometimes whole sections or whole books need to be re-written. Mitali Perkins mentioned at Austin’s SCBWI that she will often re-write an entire book multiple times, using different points of view.  


Write down lists of interesting words. Organize them by type. Scan them for ideas. Verbs: conjure abjure badger banter bludgeon dangle dabble divine fidget heckle impugn impute jostle lament loathe muddle occupy Adjectives: wretched wobbly woozy wiggly vapid venerated upbeat unkempt urban tragic thrifty thunderous teeming sweltering svelte sturdy soggy snarling


Editing is usually done line by line or by words. It includes grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Most of us cannot see the errors in our own writing, because we know what should be there. Because we know what should be there, we fill it in. That means most of us will need someone else to

Keep Lists

Ray Bradbury would keep lists of nouns. When he needed ideas, he would scan his list. The verb he used to refer to creating his lists was “conjure.” He conjured his nouns. What nouns could go on a list? robot savannah Winnipeg marsh elephant Thursday princess envelope hospital treasure sandwich calendar building distance medicine umbrella

Metaphors in Language Learning

While learning Bahasa Malaysia, I have discovered that some birds are metaphors in their language. The children’s dictionary says “owl” in English, for example, but the Malaysian translation is two words: XX bird. Owl is “ghost bird” literally. What would it mean to be a ghost bird? What does a ghost bird do that other