“My feeling is that if we are true to where our particular characters are developmentally, experientially, and philosophically, and we write from that place, we can write work that will connect with readers.” –Linda Urban
Karen Krossing shares her publishing journey–it’s been a long and fruitful one!–as well as her exploration of writing in various categories, from YA to picture books, and details of her writing process.
In January 2023, I had the pleasure of being the guest blogger for The Official SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Blog. Here are links to the posts, in case you missed them.
Louise Hawes: I often spend months (sometimes years) filling a notebook with my character’s responses and thoughts before I begin writing an actual draft. That notebook is all in long-hand, as you know, and I don’t stop to edit or erase anything. My characters’ letters are in the first person, and result from a fluid, bodily connection from my heart to my hand to the page. In contrast, my draft will be typed on a laptop, the far less spontaneous product of me thinking and feeling my way into a story that features the character whose voice has already filled my notebook.
By setting up a compelling story question in the reader’s mind, and then increasing the stakes throughout the second act, Joanna Ho has crafted the perfect crisis with its excellent Irreconcilable Goods options.
best bads, break into two, inciting incident, irreconciliable goods, midpoint, plot, rising tension, stakes, story crisis, story structure, ya
The more specific a story, the more universal it becomes. This is one of the most enduring bits of writing advice I have ever received. When we can write to one particular story, experience, character with specific detail and nuance, it makes it real. It feels true. There are always spaces to find our shared humanity, and this is only possible when we come to understand the richness around us.
Sarah Aronson: “No two projects emerge the same way, but I will commit to this: my process is aggressively playful. It’s my policy NEVER to say no to an idea until I’ve tried it out.”
Backstory is a necessary part of telling a story, but how much to include and what to leave out can be complicated. It’s rare in books for kids to have many pages of backstory in a row (though Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate does it with style). At KidLit Craft, we’ve explored backstory in many categories and genres. Here are our favorite posts about backstory.
The 4th post in our “In Summary” series, collecting our best posts on point of view. These posts detail how different authors approach point of view, and tools they use to craft each point of view effectively.
Our summer series, In Summary, draws together a number of posts from are archives on specific craft topics. Today’s posts offer strategies for how to capture your characters’ emotions, communicate them to your readers, and make your reader feel something too.