A Writing Tip For Authors
By: Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour
Author of the award winning
Dreams are something that should never die. My dream of becoming a famous writer has smouldered inside me since I was a child. A number of years ago, I wrote several children’s stories. For me, they were easy to do at the time, especially since I had four children of my own, and half the neighbourhood in my yard and living room, as well. The stories kept coming … “Mrs. Mansour, will you write a story with my name in it?” … “Me too, please, Mrs. Mansour.”
It was a piece of cake––so I thought. Soon, I had quite a collection of these stories. One day, I decided to have someone critique them for me before I went to the next level of farming them out to publishers. I approached an individual who came highly recommended––a teacher/librarian, and he offered to give me an honest opinion, and he would do it for free! Free was good.
I waited impatiently for his critique to come through. When it did, I was pleasantly surprised; he wasn’t as harsh as I expected. However, and here it is––my writing tip for you––
He said I ended my stories too quickly. He said, just when he wanted more conflict, or a bit more meat, I finished the story up, as though I were in a big hurry!
Other than that, he praised my writing as having interesting characters, great description, great interaction between characters, etc.
As writers, especially new writers, sometimes it is difficult to accept critique. But, I knew this was something very positive, and it was meant to help me––after all, I had asked for honesty. I went back to the drawing board of those stories and reworked many of them. Some are still waiting. One day, I will publish my children’s stories, as soon as I find an artist to do my pictures.
In the meantime, I have been busy working on other pieces, always keeping in mind though––
Never end my story too quickly; make sure I satisfy all the questions a reader would have and make them feel satisfied and happy that they have picked up my book/story and spent their valuable time reading it!
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All the best – Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour