Writing Lesson 3.14-Well! That’s Odd…

If all goes as planned, this week we’ll begin remodeling our new home.

Let me share a picture that I think ties in with our writing lessons–a Spanish Mission arch on the fireplace, a Dutch door, and a Colonial mantle!

This struck me as odd the first time I saw it, but I couldn’t figure out why. I had to study the elements before I realized that “One of these things is not like the others” as Big Bird used to sing. Shoot! NONE of these things is like ANY of the others! 🙂

Maybe I’m reaching here, but sometimes I run across odd incongruities in my writing, too–especially when I read my work out loud (and if you don’t, you should). I’ll be reading along, and something seems to stick out. I trip over it. Then I go back and study that section. Almost always the problem is one of two things:

  • My character would NEVER say what I wrote–or at least not in the way I wrote it. I need to “listen” to the people in my head and rewrite the story in the way they would tell it.


  • My writing suddenly sounded like someone else. (This usually happens when I’m not confident about a scene and just write to get it down.) For some reason I occasionally lapse into the voice of whatever I’m currently reading–a very good reason, by the way, to read quality books that stretch you as a writer!

Either way, I’ve forgotten important elements of personality and style–either mine or my characters’–and I need to edit until the scene feels cohesive.


  • Read your most recent scene out loud to yourself
  • Does anything “stick out” or “trip you up”?
  • Find out why, then experiment with different ways of fixing the problem!


About Lynn Dean

Lynn Dean dictated her first story before she could write and continued to write stories, illustrate them, and bind them into books throughout childhood. As a homeschooling mom, she enjoyed passing a love for writing to her own children and ten years of co-op students.

Read more about Lynn.

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