by Tegwyn Hughes, Age 15, Canada
Laura Thomas’s recent novel, Polly Wants to Be a Writer, gives tips and tricks for how to write the perfect story, even when your “inner dragon” gets in the way.
In her 15-page Polly Wants to Be a Writer Workbook: Write a Short Story, Laura explains the fundamentals of how to write great fiction in 5,000 words or less. The activity booklet outlines the six steps of the writing process. It also illustrates when to keep your literary dragon muzzled and when to set it free.
The rest of the workbook provides guidance for each step of the writing process. There is space for you to brainstorm your ideas and properly develop a good story, and there are useful checklists and tips for how to revise your story once you’ve written it.
If you’ve ever written an assignment in class that requires an outline, you know just how confusing it can be. You are forced to condense your ideas into beginning, middle, and end and start writing immediately after that. Laura has developed a system that is more detailed, organized, and, most importantly, fun to complete. This first Polly Wants to Be a Writer workbook allows you to get your ideas onto the page and actually flesh out your characters, setting and plot before you’ve even begun to write the first draft.
Her booklet is also well designed. The brightly-coloured graphics and creative fonts draw your eyes to the important information and illustrate the points being made. The striking image of a muzzled literary dragon in the beginning of the booklet is not only funny but reminds you to push your own inner critic out of the way.
The booklet is full of ploys to help you keep on task and keep your literary dragon on a tight leash. Laura even devotes a page of the workbook to describing your literary dragon and writing a letter to them that describes the writing process and warns the dragon to behave. The next few activities have a time limit, yet another way to encourage a writer to get their ideas on the page without worrying about checking for flaws. These pages of the book show truly inventive ways to write efficiently. The use of the metaphorical dragon help writers envision the challenges they may face when writing a story.
This workbook left me with no complaints. It is concise, easy to follow, and provides everything a writer needs to create an amazing short story. The booklet, which comes as a PDF, is on sale in the Laura Thomas Communications store for only $3.00 (Canadian dollars). If you’re struggling with your next masterpiece, the Polly Wants to Be a Writer Workbook: Write a Short Story is exactly what you need.
Tegwyn Hughes is a 15 year old Canadian writer. She has wanted to be a writer since the second grade. She says, “To me, writing means sharing yourself with your audience, and incorporating pieces of your personality into everything you create. I try to make everything I write part of who I am.”