PICTURE BOOKS

MIDDLE GRADE

YOUNG ADULT

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JOIN US IN EXPLORING OTHERS' CRAFT AND BUILDING OUR OWN

“This isn’t specific to PB writers, but I would just say to any writer: Be kind to yourself and your drafts. Many writers, myself included, struggle with self-criticism or perfectionism, so I try to give myself this advice daily. First drafts can and should be messy. Second and third and seventh drafts, too. There is beauty in the mess. Writing is mostly re-writing. When you’re feeling discouraged, reach out to some writer friends for support. Seek community.”

Today, let’s look at a middle grade novel–one very different in style and tone–to see how well framed questions can guide the reader through the first chapter.

One way to be sure your first chapter will have the effect you want is to focus on what questions will arise in the readers’ minds as they read, and then revise to control those questions to serve your purpose.

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Figuring out the opening for a novel can be daunting. We know we need to draw our readers in, to make them want to turn the page. And we have so many choices! Even with the myriad ways to open a novel, there are some basic strategies that underlie even […]