Sunday, June 4, 2017

JOIN: Celebrating Summer and First Line Mentor Texts

Every Saturday, join me as I CELEBRATE This Week 
with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.

It's summer! At least for a few of us in our house it is. My husband's school gets out on June 9th but the boys and I have been off for a week already. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous. We've been to the pool twice and my mom, my sister, and I took the boys to Cedar Point for a few days. I had never been and it was super fun!

While we were away, I left my computer at home and it was nice to have the freedom to just enjoy being away and spending time with my family. We have some great stories to share and so many laughs. While we were at the water park, I found a seed idea for a middle grade novel. We'll see if I ever write it but I was glad that I at least had my writer's notebook with me so I could jot down ideas. A writer can never underestimate the power of living. It gives you ideas! If I just sat in front of my computer all the time, I wouldn't have stuff to write about. 

Speaking of writing, I've been working on a picture book and I find that using first lines from other picture book as mentor texts really helps me. Too often, my first versions are more to the point and would be considered "telling". The good thing about picture books is it's super easy to just start again since they are so short. After I write a first draft, I'll go back and pull some mentor texts, read them for ideas of how the story rolls out, and then I'll pull a line or two and try writing my own lines with the same rhythm or style. I've done this a few times with different manuscripts and with different mentor texts. It helps me so much! If you want ideas for snatches of text, you can visit Teach Mentor Texts for lots of ideas!


  1. Jen, this line of yours would make a great inspirational mantra for writers. Live Life to It's Fullest: "A writer can never underestimate the power of living. It gives you ideas!" Enjoy your summer months!

    1. Thanks! It felt powerful when I wrote it! Maybe I can take the idea and work on a new ebook...thanks for noticing that line, Carol! :)

  2. Loved seeing the pics of your summer fun! And so glad you left your computer at home, but brought your writer's notebook.

    1. It was so fun! The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the park was beautiful. We had a great time. I was so glad for my writer's notebook but happy that I couldn't turn to my computer or that it wasn't calling to me! :)


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