Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter, the authors of Spilling Ink: A Young Author's Handbook, just posted a great article from guest blogger Nancy Springer who has penned many successful children's books, including the Enola Holmes series. The post, entitled: Nancy Springer: "Hey Hey Play" (And, yes. Another book giveaway!) is both true and insightful. You have to be able to play and experience joy to bring the best out of a story. Even if the story is tragic, unless you provide a contrast in your work, you will ultimately fail to help the reader experience and identify with that tragedy. To show the bad, you have to show the good, so relaxation and play become even more important.
I especially love the quirky examples Nancy Springer provided of ways to "play" -- and I'd like to point out that quirks are what makes characters great. Bringing a sense of a characters hobbies, likes, and eccentricities into a story makes both the reader and the writer understand and remember that character much better.
Go read the post at: