Season 2, Episode 19: Mo' Magic, Mo' Magic, Mo' Magic

In this episode:

Take note, if you’re consuming vitamins, make sure you’re not day-dosing yourself with melatonin… once Abby adjusted her vitamin schedule her writing followed suit, but we’re not gonna lie, Mr. Toad’s antics took a turn for the wild during Abby’s pm vitamin-induced daydreams.


This week, Abby talks about the schisms she’s been dealing with in splitting her book into 3 parts. The goal for this revision was to up the world building in this draft and really bring the magic out from the first page. She’s started to layer in more meaning and up the stakes for Bernadette and the rest of the characters (welcome to the story, Ralph S. Mouse!).


Mel read the first five chapters of her book to her daughter, and she LOVED it (Mel loved it too!) and was in hysterics at Mr. Toad’s, Amelia Bedelia, and Ralph S. Mouse. For MG writers, enthusiasm from a reader is the ultimate compliment. Abby wants to highlight the stuff that Mel’s daughter and her own daughter loved about it and make sure she keeps that in the forefront during the revision. It’s both the meaning for Bernadette and the world building that need to be super strong, because that’s what kids in this age group are looking for in a story.

Abby works on starting and ending her chapters this week – what’s the key to the effective closure of a scene? When scenes and chapters begin and end, you can do it with a physical location. If you do that, there needs to be some decision that’s made to end the chapter and go to the next one. The decision in the chapter she’s referring to wasn’t entirely on the page, so that needs to be highlighted.

You don’t want to feel like you’re ending the chapter in the middle of a scene, but like anything, it’s a judgment call. There are plenty of books that do that, but it’s more satisfying when there’s a little bit of resolution with a sense of suspense to come.
— Kemlo Aki

 Dialogue tags: When you’re the person writing, you know who’s talking. It really helps when someone else can read it for you and point out where you’re either adding in too many or leaving out important information. For most readers, they won’t notice the tags are there until you veer into overuse. Try to show who’s speaking without using dialogue tags, but make sure your cues are revealing something else about the characters as well. It can be an effective way to show nonverbal subtext in a glance, a raised eyebrow, etc.

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.
Just check the "Mom Writes Podcast" box below!