I just saw this quote over on my friend Rosi's blog -
The business of the novelist is not to relate great events, but to make small ones interesting.”
~ Arthur Schopenhauer ~
I love it.
Who was he? Arthur Schopenhauer (22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher.
When you think about it, this is so true. Most of my stories are about small events and ordinary people. It is my job as a writer to make them interesting.
Whether it be a picture book, middle grade book or novel. You need to create suspense and drama, write good dialogue, know the rules (and break a few if necessary), and make your characters and setting memorable. Don't have your characters flawless, they would be boring. And always use the best words possible.
Go over your stories and get rid general words and make them specific words. Get rid of the passive words.
Sometimes I (and my writing friends) will spend hours trying to find just the right word. Finding just the right word is especially important in short stories such as picture books and poems.
And it never hurts to add a little humor. I love humor in books.