Chary: The most difficult part of writing for me is having a clear story, characters and setting in my mind. There are so many options for a story but to find the most tight and effective combination of story ingredients is a daunting task.
Chary: I often read newsletters for children’s authors. Many years ago, I read an interview with Kelly Milner Halls. She advised writers to ‘hustle’ on a story. She meant follow up on a (non-fiction) idea before someone else follows it. I use this advice with all my writing. If I have an idea that I’m fired up about, I write on it sooner than later before the fire is extinguished.
Chary: I just finished writing three ESL readers. Writing these high interest books for new English speakers and readers was an exhilarating challenge. There is a list of 500 or 1000 words I may use in my book. They allow me about eight off-list words. This is a challenge because when I write about airplanes, I am not allowed to use ‘pilot’, ‘cockpit’, ‘baggage’, and other basic words. Talk about simple writing made challenging! I hope to write more.
Chary: Read, read and read. I’ve heard that you should read a thousand books/articles in your targeted genre before writing. I would not say you should wait that long but possibly read in your targeted genre more. Also don’t just read the genre. Analyze how it is put together, the characters, dialogue and the plot.