Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ooh, I Made That Teacher Mad

"Mr. Dodds, make it complicated!
My students are very bright."

A few years back I was speaking on writing at a private school that went from kindergarten through eighth grade. The big kids were my last classroom visits and, as always, I said pretty much what I had said to the younger kids.

The teens paid attention and seemed to enjoy themselves. I know I did.

Later, I found out at least one of the teachers for that older group complained that what I had been saying was just too simple. Somehow, it was "beneath" their level. The school threatened to not pay my fee and the publisher had to step in and sort things out. (I think he just paid me out of his own pocket. He was a good guy.)

My point here is the basics are the basics are the basics. Whether I'm talking to third-graders or adults, I tell them pretty much the same thing when it comes to writing.

If you stick with the basics, you'll do fine.

You'll finish your novel.

Just keep writing.

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