Highlights – Where I Found My Story

May 18, 2019Pat's Chat, Uncategorized, Writing tips

Lessons from Highlights.

            Sometimes it takes a journey to find the heart of your story. After a week at the Highlights Foundation Workshop on Writing the Unreal, I am energized and ready to create. Amazing mentors and new friends with similar aspirations taught me important lessons during my time in the woods.



Writing is hard. Yup.

No work is wasted. After setting aside the tenth version of a novel, starting with a blank page can focus the story and finds its promise, but the ten previous versions are the essential building blocks to make it blossom.

Rewrite your novel as a picture book. It can find the story’s heart and the action that needs to carry it through. (And be hilarious.)

Middle grade fantasy is about character. Nobody cares what happens in the story if we don’t have a character we willingly follow on his/her journey.

SLOW DOWN. I need to slow down. This is a recurring theme in my life.

Words are your friends. Friends won’t let you down, but sometimes they can piss you off.

BE the character. Put yourself in your character’s shoes and FEEL what they feel, and react how they would react. Sounds easy… NOT.

Magic is Real, Magic is Real, Holy shit, Magic is Real– My new motto  

What is the promise of the story? Your story needs focus and direction. Why would anyone want to read it?

“The children need the books.”The world is crumbling around us and we need children to have a safe home between the pages.

“Highlights is an investment in yourself.” Money is well spent if it helps to focus your passion and reassure you that dreams are attainable – with a lot of hard work and time…

… and amazing friends.

Thank you to my mentors, idols, and the most patient people on earth: Anne Ursu, Laura Ruby, Christine Heppermann, Debbie Kovachs, Jordon Brown, and Tina Dubois – and thanks to my amazing new friends! I hope we continue our journey together!


Thanks for reading! Want to be notified when I post a new blog? Put your email address on my Pat’s Chat webpage! 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This