SOLSC: Aha Moment in Writing My Middle Grade Novel


Last night at my monthly writing critique group, I had an AHA moment. I love when I get these.

I am currently in the midst of polishing my first novel in verse middle grade manuscript. In November, I will have a critique with either an agent or an editor at the SCBWI-Oregon annual retreat. I want the ten pages and the synopsis to shine like agates from the coast.

“You are giving this a lot of real estate” was a comment another friend made about one of the lines in an early poem. My writing partners and I were discussing the comment when suddenly it occurred to me that another “piece of real estate” was not in any poems until midway. That would be two neighborhood dogs that provide a pivotal moment later in the story.

This realization reminded me that writing is like an onion puzzle- you peel back the layers and then puzzle them together.

Besides being able to address this in my manuscript, last night provides for me another way to show students about the writing process. Our school is currently in the first year of using the new Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study for Teaching Writing. I love being about to discuss with students writing as I am reading narratives to my K-2 students.

More slices can be read at Two Writing Teachers(, I am having difficulty linking.

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1 Response to SOLSC: Aha Moment in Writing My Middle Grade Novel

  1. Kate Schwarz says:

    Congratulations on being so far into the writing and publishing of your first novel! That. Is. HUGE! Good luck on the editing process–on looking at your baby of a novel objectively, and editing those words you cried over, sweated about, worked on.

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