Missed Monday’s post (and I’ll talk about that more on Friday.) but back on with today’s post, #5 in the series.

My name is Robert Acosta. I’m a teacher and a freelance writer, and currently I’m working on becoming a published novelist for middle grade fiction. This is the second year of my journey and first year running a blog (Hi there!). I’ve sent out two manuscripts and very politely been told “No thank you,” but you know?

This means you write the next thing.

Time to level up and add another orb to my Writer Skill-Grid! This time, we’ll be revisiting Chuck Palahniuk’s advice of “unpacking” a sentence, and declining to use words like “thought” and “felt” and “knew.”

For Skill Grid #1 and to see what this is all about, check here.


Packed Sentence:

Michele wanted to volunteer for the school festival.


Unpacked Sentence:

It was the balloons. Michele noticed the balloons first, no matter where she went. They brought with them a sense of joy and excitement that she found at no other place. Not her birthday, her family could never afford them. Not the hospital because, thankfully, she never had to be checked in to the place.They were signs that happiness was happening here. Seeing balloons lifted Michele’s spirts and let her know fun was all around her. The popcorn smells, the laughing children, and the creaks and screams from the festival rides would have been pleasant enough, but if you decorate the sky with colorful bags of carbon dioxide, she would have done anything to be part of it.


Again, not sure if this is the best piece written, but I definitely spent more time with this made-up character than normal. I broke them down, cracked them open, and tried to paint a better picture of why she wanted to volunteer at the festival. That’s why people read. That’s what I want to get better at.

Thanks for the read!

Follow me:

Twitter: @robacosta

Instagram: @robacosta

Contact: robertmichaelacosta@gmail.com

See you guys Friday.