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Essays on Writing

I have a monthly column on writing at Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show with lots of essays on anything from dealing with fear to how to write villains.

Other Random Bits and Pieces on Writing


20 tips on revision

12 lessons in revision

7 tips on dialog

20 Rules of Bad writing

Letter to Young Writers

Advice to Parents and Teachers

My "Said-Bookism" Rant





Some ebooks available from amazon:















For those who want to know simply how to make a career out of writing, I would say that you must simply write. If you want to help your child learn how to write, don't worry about hiring a professional critiquer. Don't critique your child's grammar yourself. If the child isn't comfortable with you reading it, that's fine. Writing is the best way to get better, and it happens without any other pressure. In fact, sometimes other pressure can be seriously negative. My path to writing began in Kindergarten.

I remember vividly one day, sitting down and telling my teacher a story about the rainbow-colored, friendly-looking dragon I had drawn. The teacher wrote down the story I told her, which was quite short. It was this, "The dragon lives in a cave. He is lonely. Everyone is afraid of him. Some people don't even have homes because he burned them up. He is trying to be friendly. But no one else is friends with him." When I was finished, the teacher said, "You should be a writer." This is the actual picture I drew, which my mother kept for over thirty years, because I think she thought I should be a writer, too.


I wrote a lot of other stories in elementary school. One of my favorites is this one, complete with illustrations: "This is about a giant that is nice. once upon a time a giant did't have a friend at, because he came out shaking the world. So he was poor. one day a hunter came to the woods. the came out and the hunter shot him. So every body mond and grond for him. one day the mother giant gad a baby boy. he grew and grew and became a father giant. oh thay lived in a cave." Click here if you would like to read more of my early stories. They're not great literature, but I think they do help parents and children not despair. If I wrote like that then, and I write like I do now, well, anyone can be a good writer, given a lot of practice and about thirty years.




Copyright Mette Ivie Harrison 2011 all rights reserved.
Last revised May 27, 2014.