Posted by: nancyisanders | October 10, 2013

Highlights: Talk About It!

Okay…I feel like I’m having a hard time writing this nonfiction article.

As I read back over it, it sounds too technical to me so far. Why would a child want to read it?

Just to let you know…I usually feel this way at some point with a manuscript I’m working on.

But I just plan to plow forward and continue working on writing my first draft anyhow.

But as a tactic I’ve often used before to get nonfiction more “child friendly,” I’ve started talking about my topic.

I talk with my husband. I talk with my friends. I talk with my kids.

I don’t usually tell people I’m writing about a topic. Instead, I just bring up my topic in casual conversation that usually starts out like, “Hey, did you ever know that…” Or “Have you ever heard about XX and how he…”

As I talk, I try to listen to myself. What do I end up saying that’s they key I repeat to different people? What are the words I choose to tell about it? How do I tell it to an adult versus when I talk about it with a child?

I also try to listen to people’s reactions. What do they express when they hear about it? Are they bored and change the topic? Do they want to find out more about a certain nugget? What do they find fascinating?

I store all these “conversations” in my head. I even write some down. I plan to use these as I edit my manuscript to reflect what my conversations revealed.

So, how about you? Are you talking about your topic to the people around you? If not, start today! See what key words you choose to use. Discover what interests people the most. Then use these treasures to continue to shape your article.


  1. This is a great tip, Nancy, and it comes at the perfect time. I’m working on a thyroid/metabolism piece and feeling stuck, stuck, stuck. It helps me to know I’m not the only one! I’ll try to talk it out.

    • Kirsten, let us know how it goes after you “talk it out”!!! And glad this helped at just the right time.

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