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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Noticing the Spark that Fans the Flames

          When my 10-year-old student looked up from the story he was writing, grinned, and declared, ” I just noticed that my character is becoming a very paranoid person," I realized that he is not just a writing student anymore. He "noticed" his character's transformation as though it were being revealed to him by his Muse. That, in my mind, is the sign of a real writer.

          A couple posts ago, on my "Writing Memorable Words" blog, I interviewed some successful children's novelists about how they know when a character has truly come to life on the page. They offered pearls worth reading and then pondering as you read your own words. I could have added this boy's delighted observation to that post. 


          Here's a poem, about--and inspired by--noticing




Engulfed
by S. L. Lipson

An
author-
in-progress,
notices a spark
and then a glow
at his pencil's tip,
as embers spread,
   amazing his eyes,
while burning designs 
that describe and
define and engulf
the page, as well as
his imagination,
 illuminate
new beings
and worlds,
as if he
himself
said,
"Let
there
be
light!"





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