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Use your words!


Yesterday, our son got off the bus, sporting a shiner in progress. My maternal instincts kicked into overdrive. How dare somebody mess with my baby! I wanted to scoop him up, cradle him to my chest and tell him everything was going to be all right. Then came the reality check. My son is as tall as me so those days are over. Instead, we stood in the middle of the living room as he told me about the little kid who backhanded him in the eye. Ahh, the joys of riding the bus.

Last night I was telling Hubby what had happened and how I handled it. His paternal instinct kicked in.

In case you weren’t aware (if not, you must be from the planet Neptune), men think differently than women. While I was ready to comfort my son, Hubby suggested showing our boys a few techniques to defend themselves.

I’m all for defending oneself. Ironic coming from the Queen of Non-confrontation, but my backbone grows stronger every day. Must be the calcium supplements I’m taking. 🙂 Anyway, fighting at school or on the bus causes many more problems than solving them.

As a child care provider, one of the phrases I use most often throughout the day is “use your words.” I say this phrase to the toddlers and preschoolers in my care when they come to me, whining about being wronged by their friend. They need to learn to resolve conflicts without fighting. Some of you may be rolling your eyes and scoffing, “yeah, right.”

Use your words.

Learn to stand up for yourself.

Speak what’s on your mind.


We, as writers need to remember these principles when we’re writing our scenes. Typing Kate felt angry is faster and requires less thought, but, yawn, it’s flat and boring.

Show the reader Kate’s anger. Allow the reader the opportunity to learn what Kate is thinking. Allow the reader to feel what Kate is feeling. Allow the reader to experience what Kate is experiencing. Chances are, the reader has been there and can relate quite well.

Not only will showing add dimension to your characters, but it trains you to express your characters’ emotions creatively.

Lisa Jordan

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