Tuesday, August 5, 2014

REVIEW: Writing Fiction: A Guide for Pre-Teens by Heather Wright

The latest writing guide from author, teacher and professional writer Heather Wright provides everything a young writer needs: instruction, prompts, examples and, most of all, encouragement and inspiration.

“You want to write stories and the purpose of this book is to help you do exactly that,” Wright begins.

Aimed at young writers of any level or experience, this guide fine-tunes the material Wright covered in her previously published Writing Fiction: A Hands-On Guide for Teens (Second Edition, 2014).

This is the kind of book I longed for when I was a kid. It’s clear and concise without being dry. I can hear the author’s friendly and encouraging voice throughout as she guides the reader through the why, what and how of creating stories.

But more than that, she’s able to make the guide relevant to others who work with kids who write. Home schoolers? Writers-in-residence? Teachers? Parents? You bet.

The scope is broad, too. Yes, Wright provides lots of tips on the much-travelled technical side of writing stories – brainstorming for ideas, charting a plot, creating strong characters, revealing setting, making use of dialogue. But she addresses the real business of writing too, including revision tips and the classic writerly problems of “I’m stuck!” and the importance of finding the discipline to write every day.

Full disclosure – Heather is a writing colleague of mine. I know how hard she works at her writing life, and I also know how experienced and successful she is as a writer. If she could sit down at a desk with every young writer, or stand in front of a classroom full of them, the tips in this book are exactly what she would share (and she does, on school visits and in her workshops).  You could not ask for a better guide.

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