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 …

Continue reading

We all need to be reminded of the simple things sometimes. Jeremiah S Blanchard Writing is a tough job. It’s an art that takes far more practice than anyone considers — especially the beginning writer. You know it’s tough because you’ve been typing and scribbling away for a while now, and you haven’t caught any traction. You …

Continue reading

Debut novelist Karin Abarbanel shares four writing tips for contemporary novelists she discovered from studying the plays of the Bard for 365+ nights. Karin Abarbanel “And as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name.” from A …

Continue reading

by Tiffany Yates Martin Writers are often warned off of passive “be” verbs that suck the life out of their prose—but the “be” trap of passivity can also suck the life out of your characters. Regardless of how richly developed your characters are, it’s not enough for a protagonist to simply be interesting, multifaceted, layered. …

Continue reading

The entire course of a story or novel, like an avalanche, is largely defined within its first seconds. Jacob Appel offers 10 ways to launch yours in the right direction Jacob M. Appel The sentence you are currently reading has the potential to brand itself indelibly upon our cultural consciousness and to alter the course …

Continue reading

By: Karen Rinaldi Author Karen Rinaldi sucks at surfing, but she continues to dedicate hours to it anyway, and she explains why we should also be okay with failure in many forms—even our writing. I’ve spent the last two decades devoting myself to an activity that I will never master. Worse, I will never even reach …

Continue reading

By: Sarah Sover I was always going to be a writer. Well, that or the next vampire slayer, but I was never called, so writing became my calling. In ninth grade, I was sure I would be the kind of writer who changed lives and made a positive impact on the world. I only read …

Continue reading

The following is an excerpt from the new book Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do. The book is compiled of essays from famous authors, all explaining why they love writing. Below is New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult’s response. Picoult has published 20 books over …

Continue reading

The late American novelist shared career lessons that we can all learn from. By Monica Torres Toni Morrison, the first Black woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and the author of 11 novels, died at 88 on Monday, leaving behind a legacy of words that reshaped American culture. Her writing itself was a singular …

Continue reading

From the “Writers on Writing” Column in the NYTimes By Richard Nordquist For almost a decade, the “Writers on Writing” column in The New York Times provided professional writers with an opportunity to “talk about their craft.” Two collections of these columns have been published: Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from The New York Times …

Continue reading