L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Linda Newbery, Michael Lawrence and Lauren Child The main characters in fiction for children and teenagers tend, not surprisingly, to be children and teenagers, though it’s not hard to find exceptions, such as Philip Pullman’s Once Upon a Time in the North. To write convincingly, whether in first- or third-person, you need to position yourself …

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“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower …

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by Jane Friedman It’s probably the single most despised document you might be asked to prepare: the synopsis. The synopsis is sometimes required because an agent or publisher wants to see, from beginning to end, what happens in your story. Thus, the synopsis must convey a book’s entire narrative arc. It shows what happens and who changes, and it …

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By Katie Heaney It is rare, in this day and age, to see a good tweet on the internet, but I did love this one, from New York Times writer Erin Griffith, which includes a graph she designed to depict the dramatic ups and downs of a writer’s self-esteem, which are entirely dependent upon the …

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“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.”—Annie Dillard

We came across the following article by Stephen King a little while ago on a number of different websites. We believe it was originally published in a 1986 edition of The Writer magazine and republished in the 1988 edition of The Writer’s Handbook. We reproduce it here for educational purposes only.  I. The First Introduction …

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By Emily Temple You know the feeling: you’re staring at the black computer screen, blinking occasionally—staring and blinking, staring and blinking, until the cursor starts to blink back and you have to go to bed for a while. Maybe you’re staring and blinking at an actual, physical blank page, in which case you should definitely go to bed …

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Jared A. Brock I often wish I had a special space in which to write my books. Sadly, the writing life doesn’t always come equipped with an idyllic woodland cabin in which to pen profound prose. For all the authors profiled below, they figured out how to be massively effective no matter the setting. They …

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By L.A. Kennedy When I first began writing, I didn’t think about what it meant to be a writer. I just wrote down my stories and thoughts. I think about it now, the purpose behind those thoughts and stories, and what it actually means to me. What does it mean to be a writer? For …

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The Guardian Get an accountant, abstain from sex and similes, cut, rewrite, then cut and rewrite again – if all else fails, pray. Inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing, we asked authors for their personal dos and don’ts. Elmore Leonard: Using adverbs is a mortal sin 1 Never open a book with weather. …

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