The Treasure of Words by Deborah Lytton: April Theme

This month, we are blogging about hidden gems. When I read a book and come to a passage that takes my breath away, I know I have discovered a hidden gem. I search for a collage of words that is emotional or vivid or makes me laugh. Perhaps the words are so beautifully written that they appear more like a painting than a paragraph. I know I have found the treasure when I find myself re-reading the words more than once just to savor them. As writers, we love the written word. But as readers, we love the experience of journeying into our imaginations. As a children's book author, I think there is a balance between keeping the young reader engaged and also hiding a treasure of words to be discovered.

The best way for me to do this is in the revision stage. By then, the story has been plotted and the characters developed. The revision stage is my chance to find areas where I can enhance the language and bury my treasure. In my latest series, Ruby Starr, the gems are in the form of humor. Where possible, I try to sprinkle around funny observations by the main character that will make the reader smile. The best places to do this are passages that are not plot driven but are either descriptive or insightful. As an exercise today, take a look at your work-in-progress and see where you can bury a treasure of words. Make them funny or touching or beautifully phrased. I promise your readers will enjoy discovering your hidden gems. Happy writing!


  1. TOTALLY agree with this. Once the "what" is solidified, we can focus on "how" we tell it!


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