Guest Post: Deborah Halverson on Viewing Narrative Beats as “Revelatory” Beats in MG/YA Fiction

Deborah Halverson

By Deborah Halverson

We work hard to get to know our characters.

Creating bios, interviewing them, giving them personality tests. One discovery tool often overlooked in this great pursuit are the small actions tucked into the narrative beats.

Narrative beats are those little breathers in dialogue, sometimes filled simply with speaking tags like he said, she said.

Continue Reading Guest Post: Deborah Halverson on Viewing Narrative Beats as “Revelatory” Beats in MG/YA Fiction »

Profiles of Persistence: Lisa Bierman, Meredith Davis, and Jill Donaldson on Committing Long-Term to Children’s Writing

By Carol Coven Grannick

Part One: The Writer’s Heart

Many hard-working, committed, persistent, and resilient writers forge ahead with their writing journeys in spite of obstacles, disappointments, “almost-there” moments and plenty of what I call “Beautiful, buts.”

This two-part interview explores the experience of being a long-time, determined writer who has not yet had a book published.

Writers Lisa Bierman, Meredith Davis,

Continue Reading Profiles of Persistence: Lisa Bierman, Meredith Davis, and Jill Donaldson on Committing Long-Term to Children’s Writing »

Hearts Unbroken: Writing Teen Love, Romance, Passion!

Inspirational HS relationship.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

The fourth in a series of four posts celebrating the Oct. 9 release of my realistic contemporary YA novel, Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick). Spoiler alert.

Let’s talk about teen love, romance, passion!

Which of course means talking about awkwardness, three-dimensionality, and emotional resonance.

My new YA novel, Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick,

Continue Reading Hearts Unbroken: Writing Teen Love, Romance, Passion! »

Hearts Unbroken: Writing Well-Rounded Secondary Characters

Writing is rewriting.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

The third in a series of four posts celebrating the Oct. 9 release of my realistic contemporary YA novel, Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick).

We’re all the heroes of our own stories.

The same is true of our fictional friends and foes.

In responding to my new YA novel, Hearts Unbroken,

Continue Reading Hearts Unbroken: Writing Well-Rounded Secondary Characters »

Hearts Unbroken: Writing (Sort Of) Timeless Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Learn more about Cynthia Leitich Smith.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

The second in a series of four posts celebrating the Oct. 9 release of my realistic contemporary YA novel, Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick).

We’re all living in the past, present and future.

Perhaps that’s never so true as on the page.

My 2018 YA novel, Hearts Unbroken,

Continue Reading Hearts Unbroken: Writing (Sort Of) Timeless Contemporary Realistic Fiction »

Guest Post: N.H. Senzai on Writing About War for Middle Grade & Escape From Aleppo

By N.H. Senzai

The reason I love writing for the middle grade audience is because at this age kids can still suspend belief and journey with you through a story as long as you create believable plots, authentic characters and dialogue that rings true.

However, you need to hook them in quickly, so my first goal is to create a story that “reels them in.”

Once they’ve signed on to follow your protagonist,

Continue Reading Guest Post: N.H. Senzai on Writing About War for Middle Grade & Escape From Aleppo »

Guest Post: Agent-Author Tracy Marchini on Page Turns in Picture Books

By Tracy Marchini

I’ve been thinking a lot about page turns in picture books recently, and all of the amazing things they can do, including:

  • Show the passage of time 
  • Create humor 
  • Dictate pacing 

Show the passage of time 

Using page turns to show the passage of time is probably the usage that everybody is familiar with.

Continue Reading Guest Post: Agent-Author Tracy Marchini on Page Turns in Picture Books »