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Sylvia McNicoll | Sylvia McNicoll

Mystery Writing Tips

Every story is a mystery in a way–of course some more than most. These tips should help will all story creation.

Enjoy!  Thank you EpilogueProdcutions.com and Telling Tales.

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Metaphors, Similes, Using Five Senses to Create Scenes

Metaphors, Similes, Using Five Senses to Create Scenes

Writing your true story, where to get started. Scroll down for Getting the Idea, then go to Developing the Idea and then finish with Creating Scenes. These are bare bone tips to help you get writing.By the way they can be used equally well with fiction writing.  Visit Writing the Rollercoaster Youtube to watch adult writer Lynda Simmons writing tips on freewill writing, finding time to write and reading to improve your writing.

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Metaphors, Similes, Using Five Senses to Create Scenes

Second writing tip: Developing Your Idea

March 30 is looming and we want your story or poem. In the first writing tip, we explored how to brainstorm some ideas on paper. Talk about your idea with your friends or family. Decide what you hope readers will take away from your end, ask yourself what’s the high moment in your story and then think about how best to begin.

When you’re ready, submit at writingtherollercoaster.com

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Writing tip: Getting the Idea

This video is the first tip in a series of six aimed to help you feel confident in expressing yourself through words for Writing the Rollercoaster. We hope it shows you how to mine for the ideas you want to write about. It was designed with younger writers in mind but is true for any age.

Getting lost in your creative self is a wonderful experience. Writing the Roller Coaster is a project that aims to document life–especially feelings–during the pandemic. We’re not looking for William Shakespeare or Margaret Atwood. We want ordinary heroes, people who manage to get up in the morning and put one foot ahead of the other in uncertain times. Tell us why that’s difficult for you or how you leap out of bed with the excitement of the challenge.How are you forced to pivot? We’re hoping that writing about the science experiment we’re all part of will help keep our writers sane and perhaps even happy.

Watch for the next tip: Freefall writing with Lynda Simmons


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Metaphors, Similes, Using Five Senses to Create Scenes

Writing the Roller Coaster-Burlington Family Literacy Project!


It’s a Virtual Life

I live on the computer
Almost a real life
Frozen until a cure comes

This is my own form of haiku–instead of five, seven, five syllables, it’s seven, five, seven. I didn’t re-invent the form on purpose, I made a mistake. But I like it.

Lynda Simmons and I want to document your pandemic feelings, through your story or poem, in an anthology sponsored by the Burlington Community Support Program.
It would be nice if you are somehow linked to Burlington should you wish to submit. But you can also submit anonymously.

There is no reimbursement, this isn’t a contest–therefore you and your family can definitely write it together. Team writing–a great family literacy project.

We have free workshops available to you through Burlington Public Library.

For kids and parents February 11, 4-5:30 Sylvia McNicoll

For adults, February 18, 2-3:30 and 7- 8:30

We will also be posting writing tips in February.

Does your work have to be perfect? Lynda and I will edit it but remember my imperfect haiku. If you make us feel what you’re going through, we will love it.

Visit writingtherollercoaster.com to find out more and to submit!

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Metaphors, Similes, Using Five Senses to Create Scenes

Writing the Rollercoaster of your pandemic emotions


Let it all out!

I hate Covid!

You can scream into the Icelandicair app.

Or how about this. Write about it.

If you live in Burlington or have lived or work in Burlington, check out a new project I’m working on with renowned author and creative writing instructor Lynda Simmons at:


You can put your feelings into a story about your pandemic experience and submit it for publication.

All ages, all walks of life. We want to document this historic event by publishing the highs, lows and the mediums of your experience.

Lynda Simmons is in charge of teen and adult writers. To help you get a good start on your story she’s giving two workshops on January 19.
at 2 p.m.     https://attend.bpl.on.ca/event/4784936

Or 7 p.m.   https://attend.bpl.on.ca/event/4785001

I’m in charge of the 8-13 year old writing submissions. To help young writers create a story for the project they can register at:


You don’t need a Burlington library card. But I love mine!

Thank you to the City of Burlington Community Funding Grant.

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