During 2013, dozens of talented writers are joining me to cheer you on in your storytelling. These guest-writers will share a few helpful words with you right here every Tuesday night, to encourage you as you #TellHisStory. (Come back after midnight to link up your God Story by clicking here.)
And now, I’m delighted to introduce you to author Kimberlee Conway Ireton.
Susan Patron, Newbery Award-winning author of The Higher Power of Lucky, once said the best piece of writing advice she’d ever received was to choose a book she loved and write it. “The book I wished I’d written,” she said, “was Sarah, Plain and Tall, so I got out my copy and started typing. I copied the whole thing. I wrote Sarah, Plain and Tall!”
Since hearing Ms. Patron tell this story, I have typed or hand-copied countless poems, prose passages, chapters from novels, and short stories that I admire. I’ve found this a powerful way to become a better writer. Every time I copy out a piece of great writing, its words, flowing from eye to brain to hand, become my own. As I tease out the reason behind the author’s choice of this word, that sentence structure, this punctuation, I expand my personal store of writing and story-telling techniques, giving me more words, more options from which to draw in my own writing.
So let me invite you to choose a piece of writing you love—you know, the one you return to again and again—and start typing.
Your turn: What piece of writing do you return to again and again?
Kimberlee Conway Ireton is a mother of four and the author of The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year. You can follow her on Twitter (@kconwayireton) or friend her on Facebook.