“Katherine brings life and excitement to what she teaches and interacts with me and the other students in a truly honest, personable way.”
–Samantha Meuller, BCCE blog.
Another reason I love my life: Every summer, I spend a month with several dozen glorious teens who write for the joy of it. Different classes every week. Many take several; some take every one. We laugh,
» Read more about: Summer Writing Classes for Teens! »
I loved IN THE TIME OF DRAGON MOON! And not just because I was around as it was being born. Reading the finished book (which I stayed up all night to do), was a completely different experience from hearing tantalizing bits of the manuscript during the three years Janet was writing. I loved living in the pages of this book with the spirited Uma, and Jackrun, the boy who breathes fire and has dragon in his blood.
» Read more about: Janet Lee Carey Interviewed by the Mad Queen »
Make sure your scene answers these questions before your reader asks them, unless you are deliberately withholding that information to build tension. (For more keys, join us in the Scene-Weaving class! Or, if you’re a teen, try Teenage Novelist: Scenes and Dreams!)
1. Where am I?
- Orient your reader throughout the scene so that your characters are not just “talking heads”
- Sensory detail
- References to small,
» Read more about: Three Keys to Scene-Weaving »
With the phenomenon of Yodel-Activated books sweeping the country, booksellers have a hard time keeping up. The books, now a standard feature on Nook and Kindle, respond to the voice’s “break point,” so that each user gets a unique reading experience.”You use your break point to set up the beginning,” explains Lani Travers of BreakPointBooks. “Then, depending on the range of your yodeling, you can generate multiple stories, which you can read on your reader.
» Read more about: Yodel-Activated Book Sales on the Rise »
1. Take the given elements and smoothly combine them in a scene (or part of a scene).
2. Paste your scene in the comments, then change one element for the next commenter. (e.g. “still locked in the cabin, but now it’s noon the next day,” or “setting changed to an island,” or “ship noises get louder.”)
3. The next commenter will continue the story.
» Read more about: Scene-Weaving Challenge! »
When her father begins having conversations with dead relatives, photographer Amina Eapen returns to her parents’ home in Albequerque, and a past she has been running from. Confronted with memories of a childhood visit to India and the tragedy that resulted, and of the brother nobody talks about, Amina wants nothing more than to get back to Seattle and resume her career crisis. But like the unsettling images she captures on film and then hides away,
» Read more about: Scene Weaving Class, and The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing »
Teen writers are a diverse bunch. Not all of them even know they are writers. I’ve met all of the following writers in my programs, and I’ve seen the light go on in their eyes when they come to own their writing.
When I can’t write, I go into withdrawal. I live in my room with my characters, emerging occasionally for a sandwich.
» Read more about: Four Types of Teen Writer + New Spring Classes for Teens AND Adults! »
Six weeks ago I made the wildly improbable promise to give twenty hours a week to my verse-novel. Between writing classes, French classes, and subbing grades K-12, my life is already packed to the rafters. But I decided that if Varian Johnson could write at 4:00 in the morning and finish multiple books while working fulltime as an engineer (my agent tipped me off), so could I (well, except for the engineering bit.)
I’m missing a lot of Facebook posts,
» Read more about: Plotting and Healing »
I love those “aha!” moments when a character sneaks up on me–and I suddenly realize I’m not writing the book I thought I was writing. It might mean big changes, but it invariably makes a deeper and more authentic story than the one I started with. This is just as true for memoir as it is for fiction
As I prepare for my fall writing classes, “Writing the Hidden Story”
» Read more about: Writing the Hidden Story »
Photo by Meryl Schenker
One of the cool things about taking teen writing at Bellevue College, is working with a published author. Lois Brandt (who is certifiably awesome) teaches Writing Short Stories in the Teenage Novelist program. Students rave about her classes, which have included the “Write a Novel in 30 Days” class she usually teaches in November (to go along with NaNoWriMo) and “Editing Your Manuscript.”
» Read more about: An Interview with Author Lois Brandt + teen writing with Lois at Bellevue College »