Adult secondary characters need to serve the story and the change and growth necessary for the main character. With teacher characters, as with other adults, you have a wide range of options–from allies to antagonists.

“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.”

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Katherine Applegate’s novel-in-verse, Home of the Brave, is an intricate story. Kek, a ten-year-old refugee from Sudan, lands in Minnesota in the middle of winter and has to make sense of his new world. It is at once a story of leaving a life behind, engaging with a new world, […]

interview by Kristi Wright KidLit Craft is pleased to welcome Marilyn Hilton to the blog! San Francisco Bay Area-based author Marilyn Hilton writes lyrical middle grade novels in both prose and verse. As I read novel-in-verse, Full Cicada Moon, I was struck by how beautiful storytelling can be when an author use poetic techniques. And Marilyn’s […]

craft review by Kristi Wright I’m a prose writer through and through, but I love stories told in verse. Novels-in-verse are constructed as a series of poems, with each poem typically a unique chapter. The poem series still demands a narrative arc–complete with rising action, climax and resolution–and character development remains as important as ever. […]