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How Thomas the Tank Engine Can Teach Basic Writing Skills

For those of you unfamiliar with Thomas the Tank Engine, it's a show that has been on for many, many years, helping little ones understand different feelings and emotions while emphasizing the importance of making good decisions.

The show's lessons are great for teaching children, but it struck me as a perfect (and slightly amusing) tool for teaching us 'newbies' what not to do when writing as well.


Thomas was cross.
Ahh. this is the infamous telling, not showing. A big no-no. A writer would demonstrate a character's mood with facial expressions, dialogue, and body language.

"I'm ready!" Thomas exclaimed, cheekily.What's this? An exclamation mark with an exclamatory tag plus the dreaded adverb. My, oh my. A writer would know that exclamation points are to be used with extreme caution and definitely not with a tag already describing the tone. As for the adverb, we already know the general consensus for those.

See? Sometimes it's really that simple.

Newbie word of the day: SNI- an acronym for shiny new idea, a new book concept that suddenly hits you upside the head. Usually while you're in the middle of writing one already.
Amanda Hannah

Amanda grew up on a big farm in a small town with one stoplight, one school, and a handful of imaginary friends.She would’ve gone to college forever, but eight years and five majors tested her advisor’s patience. So she moved to Germany to explore creepy castles before landing in Spain where she’s perfecting her Flamenco.

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  1. My head hurts form all the SNI's!!!!

    And what a great example of what not to do.

  2. Haha, cute post, Amanda. Good examples re: what not to do. :)

  3. Haha great post and examples of what not to do.

    Don't forget SNIS, Shiny New Idea Syndrome. I swear someday that is going to be a real disease...

  4. LOL, that was great.

    And I still use PWANI...Pants-Wetting-Awesome-New-Ideas. :)

  5. LOL. I must use that one in the future

  6. LOL Amanda. This post is so true. Thanks, Thomas the Tank Engine!


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Item Reviewed: How Thomas the Tank Engine Can Teach Basic Writing Skills Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amanda Hannah