Anne-Marie Strohman

A novel requires more than just one main plot. In this episode, we look at three major subplots in Buffalo Flats by Martine Leavitt, one that involves Rebecca’s family, one that involves her local community, and one that involves the larger community. We look at how Martine weaves in these subplots and how she makes […]

In this mini-episode, we switch things up! Anne-Marie defines what a misbelief is, how it connects your character’s internal and external journey, and we see the concepts in action in Martine Leavitt’s YA novel, Buffalo Flats. Links: KidLit Craft website Martine Leavitt’s Buffalo Flats Writing exercises to explore a character’s misbelief Misbelief in Paul Acampora’s […]

Martine Leavitt’s YA novel Buffalo Flats is full of desire. In addition to wanting to own a piece of land, the main character, Rebecca, also wants to become the person God wants her to be, and that means loving other people, most of whom she finds annoying or unlovable. Erin walks through how the desire […]

Martine Leavitt’s YA novel Buffalo Flats is full of desire. The main character, Rebecca Leavitt, wants more than anything to own a piece of land near where her family is homesteading in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Erin traces how Martine introduces the external desire right from the start, where Rebecca runs into obstacles, and […]

We’re three episodes in, and we’re taking a holiday break! Anne-Marie and Erin share how life is in podcast land and encourage you to read Buffalo Flats during the break. Starting in Episode 4 there will be spoilers. But the book is so rich that even if you listen first, you’ll have wonderful moments of […]

Nora Shalaway Carpenter’s YA novel Fault Lines is a study in contrasts. It’s the story of Viv, a high school senior who lives in rural West Virginia, and Dex, a boy in her grade who moves to town. Viv lives a middle class life; Dex is only recently out of extreme poverty. Viv is anti-fracking; Dex’s mom works on the pipeline. But Viv and Dex are drawn to each other. This dual point of view novel barrels straight toward a huge conflict between these two characters. Carpenter handles the moment of greatest conflict with deft hands. Let’s take a look at how she helps readers connect with the characters’ emotions without getting maudlin.

Erin takes us through the four scenes that make up the first chapter of Martine Leavitt’s YA novel Buffalo Flats. We talk desire line (both internal and external), character, setting, language, humor and more.   Links: Martine Leavitt’s Buffalo Flats “Making Your Character’s Desires Concrete” by Anne-Marie “Crafting Character: Discovering Desire” from KidLit Craft Backstory, articles […]

Erin takes us through the powerful opening scene of Martine Leavitt’s YA novel Buffalo Flats and examines how the elements of the first scene set up the entire novel–character, desire lines, themes, setting, voice, tone, humor, and more. Links: Martine Leavitt’s Buffalo Flats The Sound of Music Hadestown Six A tor Nerd term: limited omniscient […]

At KidLit Craft we look at the mechanics of how writers do what they do, so we can improve our own writing. In this series, we’re taking a deep dive into Martine Leavitt’s YA novel Buffalo Flats. Erin has called this the perfect novel, so we’re tearing it apart to see how Martine put it […]

I needed to put on my brave girl wings and write what felt right and natural to me, even though I was worried my agent and editor (and readers) might think it was weird. . . . I have always felt a deep, almost spiritual/magical connection with the natural world. I think a lot of people who spend time in nature feel it. That’s what was coming through in my writing.