In my first textbook, Writing Success Through Poetry, I officially published the technique I invented when I first began teaching writing: my "D.A.D. and M.O.M. Techniques for Painting Word Pictures." D.A.D. is memory device to keep writers aware of these three elements for making fiction come alive: Description, Action, and Dialogue. When writers remember D.A.D. as a checklist while writing, vivid scenes result! And revising those scenes with the help of M.O.M.--a checklist to ensure that word choices enrich the Mood of the story, that the Order of details is logical and compelling, and that the Matter that appears in each line actually does matter to the unfolding of the story. So, while D.A.D. guides the initial word painting, M.O.M. guides the revisions, helping writers to find their most powerful words.
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