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Write in present tense. Whether your story happened five months ago or fifty years ago, present tense makes it more real.

  • Present tense: I worry that Mom knows what I am up to. Past tense: I worried that Mom knew what I was up to.

Use active voice not passive voice.

  • Active voice: Jeannie painted the house. Passive voice: The house was painted by Jeannie

  • AV: I answer your questions on email. PV: Your questions are answered by me on email.

Engage your senses. Describe what you

  • See

  • Hear

  • Taste

  • Touch

  • Smell

Quoting songs or describing food can be very engaging. How does Grandma’s apple pie taste?

Write and rewrite

  • Write your first draft. Let it rest for at least 24 hours. Rewrite. Let it rest for at least another 24 hours. Read your text aloud to yourself or to another person. Rewrite.

Find a writing buddy. Share your thoughts. Share your writing. This can feel kind of like standing naked in a room full of people—one of those dreams. Be brave. You can do this.