1. Keep it interesting.
- Kids will behave on a field trip when the place or the information they are learning is new and interesting. (We attended the historical society in our town and experienced life in the olden days.)
- Readers will keep reading your book if it is interesting.
2. Keep it feeling new.
- No matter how interesting the place, if the information being presented becomes repetitive, kids get bored and antsy. (By the 6th presentation, we should’ve made a Dunkin Donuts run #srsly.)
- No matter how interesting your plotline, if nothing new happens or the character faces the same struggles too many times, readers get restless.
3. Keep it personal.
- When kids make a personal connection through a personal story that is true, that is what they will remember. (Each child had the identity of someone in our town from two hundred years ago. Real people. And they learned about that person’s life.)
- When a reader connects with a character through the external and internal conflict and theme, the story will stay with them.
4. Keep changing up the setting.
- A change up in scenery does wonders for interest level. (After getting lectured in the school house and watching yarn spun into wool and then cooking by the hearth, the field games with a fresh breeze was a welcome relief for everyone.)
- Create different settings within your story, such as not always being in the car or by the lockers or in the bedroom. Your reader will love you and not even know why.
5. Keep it powerful.
- Rewarding a long day with surprises in a timely manner is what the kids remember. (One mom spent all morning making an awesome lunch for the kids with apple crisp for dessert. She made special sandwiches for the volunteers. I swear I’ve never had a better ham sandwich.)
- End your story well without drawing it out too long and you will earn fans.
Where do you find comparisons to writing or a well told story?