More from Bruge–Weaving Lace and Stories

Bruge is famous for its lacework. How did they make lace before modern machinery? By hand, of course. The art of braiding this type of lace is tricky. This lace is called bobbin lace. Bobbins are used to hold the threads on a small pillow. Originally, the bobbins were made from bones, so it is also known as bone lace. And sometimes it’s called pillow lace as well. For more pictures, click on this Wikipedia link.

Stories are woven together also. Some of the threads of a story would include the characters, the setting, and the plot. Each story forms a different pattern, just like lace.
I’ve done only a little weaving in my day, on a small loom and knitting and crocheting as well. It’s tough to keep all the strands in line, forming the pattern you want. It’s tough to keep them from becoming tangled sometimes.
So it is with a story too. I work hard at twisting the plot here and turning a character there or weaving in the setting–just right. This week I’m revising a couple short stories and reviewing a middle grade chapter book in progress. I’m untangling a few knots here and there in each, trying to make wonderfully woven stories for my readers to enjoy.
Sometimes that involves a fair amount of unraveling–which makes it especially hard to keep the pattern of the story in tact. But a completed story, intricately woven with beauty and finesse, is always worth all the hard work.
Now, I’m back to my story weaving.

A Wonderful Website for Children’s Authors

Robyn Opie–Author, Children’s Books (an Australian author with more than 70 books to her credit) has a great website for children’s authors. She offers numerous how-to articles on writing children’s stories from picture books to YA. In her online Writing Tips, she shows all the ways to “make your story sparkle.” I especially liked her article, “How to Edit Your Children’s Book.” She explained all the ingredients for writing a winning story– pace, word choice, transitions, endings, and more. And in her presentation on “Plotting a Children’s Book,” she provides a plot map–a visual on how she plots her stories. Another of my favorites was her article, “Creating Ideas for Children’s Books.” Ms. Opie explains the way to never run out of story ideas is to be always on the lookout for them–open to new possibilities at every turn in your everyday life. It means “thinking and behaving as a writer” in every moment.

Ms. Opie’s site was chosen as one of Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for 2008. You can learn more about her at this YouTube interview. She offers online writing courses, as well.

And for more writing helps, visit my TIPS FOR WRITERS.