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The Heroine’s Journey celebrates the gifts of the matriarch. It explores themes of family, community, collaboration, cooperation, and love. As an author, and as a person, it’s important to me to write books that support those values, so everyone who reads them can be inspired to evolve toward a more feminine, collaborative, resilient society. To illustrate the points I make in this post, I’ll be examining the Heroine’s Journey of Elin in The Beast Player, a Japanese YA fantasy by Nahoko Uehashi. Elin’s story is an excellent example of the Heroine’s Journey.

In order to understand how a heroine grows into her superpowers, I followed the heroine’s journey closely in three movies: Elsa in Frozen, Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Meg in A Wrinkle in Time. I identified a common pattern for a superheroine’s recognition of and acceptance of her superpowers. Then I applied what I learned to analyze CeCe Rios and the Desert of Souls, a middle grade novel by Kaela Rivera to translate what I found in films to what might work in a novel.

With contemporary fantasy, it doesn’t take such a stretch of the imagination for the reader to follow along when you blend the familiar with the unfamiliar.

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.

craft review by Jen Jobart Kids do a lot of growing up from ages 8-12. Books are meant to grow with them and inspire them along their journey. A lot of middle grade books have a protagonist whose character arc moves towards independence over the course of the book. The middle grade novel Bob is […]

craft review by Kat St. Claire Four books we read in our MG Book Group this year got me thinking about how a writer can use science and science facts to launch into fiction, even the fantastic. I’ve divided these four books into two categories. The first category I’ll call, From science facts to science fiction […]

craft review by Laurel Holman There are as many ways to open a novel as there are novels, and while there are some traditional rules about what to do and not to do, those rules are often broken in the hands of a master storyteller. With so many options, and with so much riding on […]

craft review by Jen Jobart Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor is the story of a girl who must embrace her otherness in order to save the world. Sunny, who recently moved from the US to Nigeria, is struggling to fit in. Her albino skin makes her “other” in her new community.  Then she makes a […]

craft review by Jen Jobart In Chapter 6 of his book The Anatomy of Story, John Truby talks about building a story world that reinforces the story you’re telling.  Jessica Townsend’s book Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a great case study for how to do this. Nevermoor is the story of Morrigan Crow, […]

by Jen Jobart BayCon is an annual California Bay Area fantasy conference for writers, artists, and fans.  I attended the conference as a writer of middle grade fantasy. I had a lot of fun and had many opportunities to talk about and learn new things in the company of other creative people.  BayCon was my […]