“Craft study has helped me tremendously to make better books, and to hone my ear so that I know when something is working or not. I’ve become so much better at writing stronger characters with more compelling arcs, I can tell when my language is pitch-perfect and when it’s falling flat, I can revise more quickly than ever before, I can look at comp titles when I get stuck, I can pull from a wider range of craft techniques when I’m struggling to convey something . . . the list goes on and on. Learning craft has helped me become a better writer in countless ways.”
This blog emerged from a book group that meets monthly in Menlo Park, California, to discuss middle grade books with an eye to craft. We don’t always create posts on the books we read, but we do have great discussions! If you’re looking to expand your middle grade reading or to start your own discussion group, feel free to read along.
These are compassionate stories that encourage readers to awaken their own inner activist. And they also model ways for kids to engage in deep conversations about topics that can be hard to talk about.
In your story, consider how your character’s Lie and Fear impact the plot. And look to the Midpoint and All is Lost moments to ratchet up the stakes for your character. See how the climax resolves both the plot problem (what the character wants) and the Lie (what the character needs to change).
Kate O’Shaughnessy creates secondary character Tommy O’Brien in such a way that, even though the book is in Maybelle’s first person point of view, readers know things about Tommy that Maybelle doesn’t.
Ignore trends entirely, and write the book that truly calls to you.
In a world where adults are constantly telling children what to do, which vegetables to eat, when to go to bed, and sometimes, what to think and feel, the idea of a secret space can be magical and captivating.
We are excited to announce a new monthly newsletter from KidLit Craft launching the first week of June! Each month we’ll feature a kidlit author, a favorite craft book, writing resources, and a few surprises. Subscribe below! Subscribe here: * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name
More important than their differences and easily distinguished voices, these sisters work together as a team. And arguably, it’s this aspect of the novel that makes it so appealing. We see their cohesiveness in the initial reminiscence of the opening, but we also see it through their interactions and their family codes and practices.
Day jobs can be essential, especially for writers starting out. Sometimes those jobs can feel like a drain–of energy, of creativity, of joy. But often, skills you develop on the job can actually help with your writing. This series, comprised of interviews and posts from authors for children, focuses on how non-writing work has helped […]