Posts tagged ‘young writers’

We’re Moving!





WriteLikeCRAZY is packing up and moving to a new home!  

Because my goal is to focus on writing and teaching fiction, I decided to merge my two blogs into one powerhouse of information and inspiration!  

What will change:   

  • WriteLikeCRAZY blog will still be here so you can find archived prompts, tips and links like before
  • Writers Inspired will be home to how-to tips on the craft of writing and submitting your fiction work, for both young adult and adult writers
  • Writers Inspired will occasionally host published authors through interviews or guest posts on the writing, organizing and publishing processes, plus awesome Book Giveaways!!
  • Writers Inspired will also offer games, exercises and prompts for young adult writers (and their teachers!!) to use
  • Writers Inspired will be like an online writers group where you can read and share helpful topics, like:  unique ways to find ideas, dealing with procrastination, the latest in writing contests and new markets, tools and resources for fiction writers, tips on tracking submissions and all aspects of the fiction writing craft.
  • Writers Inspired will have one page for young writers with links, prompts and advice PLUS one page for teachers with lesson plan ideas, games to energize the class and notes on what I’ve learned as a Creative Writing Teacher
  • Writers Inspired will also have a list of events for young writers and teachers in the DuPage County (IL) area

What you need to do:  

  • Go to Writers Inspired
  • Click “Follow”
  • Be surprised by the updates you get in your email inbox or Google Reader every time a new post appears
  • Leave lots of comments! This new blog is for you – the readers-and I want to provide content that you’re interested in reading: )
  • Send your friends and teachers!

So, thank you to my current and future followers! Now, let’s get on the ROAD!!!  


April 15, 2010 at 10:55 am 1 comment

5 Prompt Friday

Here we go again…

  1. Jimmy yelped when the person in the photo winked up at him.
  2. The sound of someone rummaging through the garbage can outside
  3. Milwaukee was the next exit.
  4. Sitting in the first car of a new roller coaster.
  5. Rachel picked at the scab on her knee trying not to hear her parents screaming in the next room.

Share with us! (your own writing prompts or snippets of what you wrote!)

March 26, 2010 at 12:01 am 2 comments

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

{image courtesy of Mrs Derek's Fourth Grade Class Blog}

To celebrate the author/poet/illustrator  get out your Dutter and Dutter, cake cutters, play your Drum-tummied Snumm and your Hinkle-Horn Honkers! The Time-Telling Fish and Great Birthday Bird would like to recite a Birthday Poem! (a smooshing snooshing of absurd words and images. Enjoy!)

Silly sally, dilly dally

All the day long

With striped legging-ly


Across the pages of bloom


A sniff, a snaff

A purple butterfly bath

Bubbles float up and

pop   *     pop  *     pop

Suds fizz down – plop




And Silly Sally dallies on…


~ Mary Jo Campbell


What kinds of characters and worlds can you create today to honor the Sultan of Silly, Dr. Seuss?


March 2, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Question from a young writer: characters making their own decisions!

“What do you do when your antagonist and your protagonist start to get along waaaay better than they were supposed to?  They’re supposed to hate each other, but Tefached just helped Lissa on her algebra homework.  Help!! this was not supposed to happen!” ~ Kaylie, grade 8

Great question, Kaylie!

The excitement of writing characters and following them is sometimes balanced with the frustration of these same characters not doing what you want!
I have a few suggestions for you:

  1. Maybe the antagonist has ulterior motives; he/she is “helping” to get close to the protagonist to really come in for the “kill.” You know what they say “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!”
  2. Perhaps the antagonist has a soft spot, as every villain should. This may be that awkward scene where the protag makes a fool of herself and rejects the help the antag. is offering, which she may later regret out of guilt or riling up the antag. for revenge?
  3. Your characters may be trying to tell you something: maybe you have the antagonist wrong? Maybe there’s a stronger antagonist lurking around the corner?
  4. Or maybe the characters are meant to be buddies, but not until some pivotal scenes happen. In this case, work backwards and see how they ended up here, getting along. Save the scene you’ve written for the end…

Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

Do you have a writing question? Send it to me in an email and you may see it posted here ! mjcwriter”at”comcast”dot”net


December 1, 2009 at 12:03 am

Pump Up Your Word Count, NaNo’ers!

A student of mine emailed me in a panic last week:

“My word count is at 1,000, but I need help boosting my word count because my story is progressing way too fast! Help!”

Ask, and you shall receive:

Here are some tips to add to your word count:

Use a TON of descriptions: describe gestures, clothing, scenery, rooms, furniture, etc

Use some inner dialogue: have your protagonist or antagonist talk to themselves about something that’s bothering them, have them talk out how they’re going to handle it.

Use a flashback or dream: one of your characters can be reminded of something from their past, then write in in the past tense, but bulk up the scene with descriptions and dialogue. Or write about  a dream or nightmare they’ve had or are having  – this is cool in the sense that you can write in a different tone/genre for the dream sequence.

If you need more tips, check out the YWP NaNo website:

November 27, 2009 at 12:36 am

Inspiration from other Young Writers

Are you a young writer who wishes to be published? Maybe even win a writing contest?

So many young writers don’t think there’s a place for them. But that’s not true. Do your research! Opportunites are out there!

Check out this young writer and read her inspiring interview. This could be YOU!

What inspires you to write and submit your work?

October 27, 2009 at 12:02 am

5 Prompt Friday

girlonlaptopNo excuses! Now get writing!

Play the 5 W’s game: on 5 post it notes (or torn slips of paper) write at least 3 of each:

Who: (can be as basic as “girl” or as detailed as “5th grade teacher – male”)

What: write out 3 different scenarios unrelated to your “whos” like: Running in a 5 k; tasting sushi for first time; just lost best friend

When: this could be a time of day, month, year or historical period

Why: this would be based on the struggle or villain or an emotion: because she was selfish; to get revenge; always the underdog; greatest fear is public speaking

Where: could be a basement, outerspace, a closet, on  hiking trail – use your imagination: create a place!

Now, toss all these W’s in a bowl, hat, bag, what have you – and select as many or as little as needed to get an idea flowing. Try it – and report back here! That’s an order, soldiers!

October 2, 2009 at 12:02 am 2 comments

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