How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Surprising Mistakes That Make Writers Look Like Amateurs... and How to Avoid Them

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K: Kick Out the Imposter

Another fun game to play. Choose the ONE answer that is NOT an excerpt from a picture book. Even if you are a "novel" person, it's still fun to at least guess. Go ahead. Give it your best shot. Kick out the imposter.
  1. "The night before the first day of a new school year can be a long one. When the lights go out, the noises seem louder. The shadows seem darker. Even your bed can seem hard and uncomfortable."
  2. "'Quiet, everyone! Annabelle, that sweater of yours is a terrible distraction. I cannot teach with everyone turning around to look at you!'"
  3. "In the spring, they rolled down the gentle hills of soft grass that surrounded Little Rabbit's house."
  4. "Early the next morning, Sylvia Jean went to the library to do research. 'Ah-ha,' she said as she looked at books on all kinds of subjects, from animals to architecture, fairy tales to foreign lands, history to harmonicas."
So...which one do you think is NOT from a picture book? (It's harder than it looks, right? Right?)

Keep on keepin' on...


  1. Good one! I'm not sure about any of them (except, maybe Little Rabbit), so I'm gonna go

  2. I am going to guess either number four, because young children would not necessarily know the word, "architecture", I believe. Or number one, because picture books are exactly that. Picture books and there is no picture of a child in the dark. That is a fun exercise! Thanks for the fun! Ruby

  3. Just a word of advice... You will get more comments if you turn off your comment modification. It takes more time to leave a comment if a person has to go through the calisthenics of guessing those darned letters. :)

  4. Ladies, thanks for playing. I'll reveal the answer in a day or so. Grammy, thanks for the advice on the comments.

  5. Wow, that IS tough! I'm going to go with #1, but I really have no idea. :)

  6. I'm torn between 2 and 4, but I think I'm going with 2. I love this game! It challenges what we think about picture books. =)

  7. I'm glad you all had fun with this. It's my second time doing it. I'll probably do it again, so stay tuned!

    Lissa, I almost posted the answers earlier today, so I'm glad you got to play before I gave it away. Here are the answers:

    1. Return to Sender by Kevin Henkes (Puffin, 1984) (not a pb) Grammy, I like your thinking on this one on how the dark is not quite so illustratable. Also, the voice is definitely that of an older child.
    2. Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Jon Klassen (Balzer + Bray, 2012) (is a pb) Although this is dialogue here, it is very illustratable.
    3. Imagine Harry by Kate and M. Sarah Klise (Harcourt, 2007) (is a pb) This one was pretty easy being about a Little Rabbit and all.
    4. Sylvia Jean Drama Queen by Lisa Campbell Ernst (Dutton, 2005) (is a pb) "Architecture" threw you off! But the lists and examples are definitely in pb lingo. Check out my post on PB Vocabulary.

    We will play this game again, but next time the answer won't be #1! (Don't say I didn't give you any clues ahead of time!)


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