Just the act of reading mentor texts improves our instincts when writing, but how do you approach the research aspect? I like to read as many books as I can on the topic of the manuscript I'm writing. I also look for books that mimic the structure that I'm going for. Am I writing a metafiction story? Then Do Not Open This Book! is the perfect mentor text. Is my story a fractured fairy tale? The Three Ninja Pigs is right up my alley. Am I writing a cumulative story? Your Alien is a good place for me to start.
As I read each book, I ask myself these questions:
1. What do I like about this book? What works?
2. What don't I like? What doesn't work?
3. Do I want to read this again? Why?
4. Would kids relate to this?
5. Would this make kids laugh?
Once I've read as much as I can about my topic or structure, then I have a better idea of what works, what I like, and what has already been done. My built-in panel of five children reminds me what it's like to be a kid and when I write, I tackle my story with my newfound knowledge and a fresh perspective!
As we continue to Reveal ReFoReMo to you, let's reflect upon Romelle Broas's experience as a ReFoReMo-er. In this post, she not only shares her experience, but also an incredible tool she used for assessing mentor texts during ReFoReMo 2015. Her assessment tool is also located at the bottom of the tools section on the ReFoReMo website, here. Take a look and give it a try!
February 15: Registration opens
February 23: Reading list goes live on
February 27-29: PreReFoReMo: Starting off Strong
March 1-31: ReFoReMo!