writing

Writing Tips

Adding Depth to Your Story


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I recently met with my book club for writerly types, where we’re reading Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. Confession, I hadn’t actually done the reading, but as I was flipping through the chapter and seeing highlights I’d made my first time through the book, I was reminded of some of my aha! moments.

Leave Room for the Reader.

Readers are smart (even/especially young readers). One of the worst mistakes you can make is to underestimate their intelligence. Not only will they be annoyed, but they’ll also get bored. To engage readers, you need to give them an active role in the story. Make them work for it. What’s the point of reading a story if you’re not going to be inspired/changed/horrified/heartbroken by the end of it? (more…)

Writer Interviews, Writing Tips

Extended Interview with Nanci Turner Steveson, Author of SWING SIDEWAYS


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This is an extended version of an interview also appearing on The Swanky Seventeens Debut Club.

Kim Ventrella (that’s me) recently got the chance to speak with fellow debut middle grade author, Nanci Turner Steveson, about her new novel, SWING SIDEWAYS, recently published by HarperCollins.COVER_SwingSideways_final-1

ABOUT THE NOVEL

SWING SIDEWAYS is a heartfelt middle grade debut in the tradition of BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA. Annie spends a magical summer exploring in the countryside with her new friend, California, in search of two missing ponies. But, when Annie discovers the truth behind California’s secrets, everything she’s learned about bravery, forgiveness, loss and love will be put to the test.

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Writing Tips

Top Ten Writing Tips — Part 1


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This is the start of a series I’ll be doing on my blog featuring my top ten writing tips. So, let’s get down to business:
1. Write (a lot)
Writing is a passion, but it’s also hard work. Not every moment involves sipping triple espressos at a hip coffee shop, letting the grinding of the machines fire your muse. Sometimes (most of the time), you have to forget about the dark sunglasses and adorable misanthropy and sit down at the kitchen table and write. And we’re not talking about a few expertly crafted sentences scribbled feverishly whenever the muse happens to strike. Writers who hope to make a living with their writing can’t wait for the muse. They have to write through hangovers, holiday weekends and looming mushroom-clouds of self-doubt. Some days will feel like caffeine-fueled love fests, every word streaming perfectly formed onto the paper. Other times, writing will feel like giving birth to a demon baby, the kind with pointy horns and teeth. No matter what type of day it is, try your best to write, and write a lot.

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