Mary Peace Finley Award-winning author of books for young people
© Mary Peace Finley 2012
How much is the maximum verbs you have put in a  paragraph? Whoa! I have no idea. I put as few as possible and as few words as possible for the paragraph to read well and say what it needs to say. When you first start, how many verbs in a  sentence? Again, I don’t think about how many verbs I use because the number isn’t as important as achieving the effect I want. When I first start, I often write a whole string of words (sometimes verbs, sometimes not) something like this: “Ramon shuffled / crept / crawled / inched / scooted / slid / across the soggy floor.” At that moment, I don’t know which verb I like best, so I put down everything that comes to mind. Later I go back and choose the best word, or sometimes add more, then choose at an even later time.. You paint a picture in my head with all those neat  verb words. Comment from Mary. That’s what’s important! Thanks! Is it hard to think of ideas to write about? No, not any more. When I was in school and had to write an assignment, it was often hard for me to think of ideas to write about, or what to say once I had an idea. Now it’s never a problem. Ideas come to me now as fast as popcorn pops in a skillet. How do you get the idea for the book? I’ll tell you about getting the idea for a book that I haven’t written yet. I was reading a menu in a Mexican restaurant. Besides food, the menu had a few interesting historical facts about the area. One fact: under the main street of that town there are 17 miles of old tunnels. BINGO! Just that fast, I had an idea for a new novel. The main character is a girl from Ireland who has come to this place in the 1800s with her father, mother, and twin sister, but their brother didn’t make it to the ship in time. They left, not knowing what happened to Michael. All this…ideas for the whole story came to me in an instant, but I’ve only written a few scenes. I want to write that story when I finish the one I’m working on now. It will be called THE TUNNEL.
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