Author Kate Hanscom’s visit to Fisher Elementary on Thursday, June 11 was a chance for every student to become a better writer.
Kate began by reading her book, “Fickle Fiona.” The story traces Fiona, a little girl who simply cannot make up her mind. Her inability to make a decision results in her wearing mismatched clothes and eventually costs her a chance to enjoy her favorite ice cream treat.
Kate then talked to students about being a good writer.
She worked through the ingredients of a story: the main character, supporting characters, setting, problem, solution and the frosting, the details that help the reader visualize all that takes place.
She uses descriptive words to help more than just the reader. Kate admits she can write, but she cannot draw. Her mother-in-law Lynda Hanscom, however, can draw, but cannot create. It is important for Kate to give Lynda a clear picture of what is happening , so Lynda can illustrate the books.
Adjectives are important words that help describe things. She said one adjective she doesn’t like is “good.” Instead, she looks for better words that paint a clearer picture. She asked the students for synonyms—words that mean the same and help make things more exciting. They soon offered words such as excellent, great, awesome. impressive, spectacular and super.
Raised in Utica and now living in Central Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters, Kate wrote her first story at seven years old. She looked out over the crowd, saying you have all written things.
“You’re authors right now. All you need is imagination and an idea. But, if you want to get good, you have to practice,” she said.
She explained that for her upcoming book “Creative Christopher,” she and her editor made over 100 rounds of edits.
“To be a great author, you have to look at what you write to make certain you do your best work,” she said.