Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink

304p. index. HarperCollins/Harper. Dec. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062275301; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780062275295; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9780062275318.
RedReviewStarGr 5–8—In this follow-up book to Writing Magic Creating Stories That Fly (HarperCollins, 2006), fantasy author Levine doles out realistic and helpful guidance to aspiring authors. This title is an extension of her blog, and Levine provides her audience with the common nuts and bolts of the profession, offering this advice: writers write, they keep writing, and they save everything they write to use again. Levine's tone is conversational and upbeat and her suggestions easy to follow, tinged with an underlying sense of encouragement that will bolster readers. She discusses common difficulties, warning young people not to get hung up on minutiae and letting them know that confronting challenges is a surmountable part of the craft. The chapters are based on questions that have been posted to her blog and address how to develop characters and backstory, come up with plot twists and flashbacks, and create mystery and tension. Each chapter ends with appealing and doable exercises. Levine urges her audience to cast away self-criticism and to write and rewrite, underscoring that this is an enjoyable, important process. An engaging and valuable addition.—Patricia Feriano, Montgomery County Public Schools, MD
Ella Enchanted[c1] author Levine offers writing advice and prompts, primarily for fiction writers. The chapters, mostly expanded from her blog, look in-depth at aspects of writing including large-scale character and plot concerns and more specific matters of style. A lengthy section focuses on poetry and its role in fiction. Levine's second book on writing (Writing Magic) takes budding authors' craft questions seriously. Ind.

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