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In this collection of Scholastic author videos, Katherine Applegate, author of One and Only Ivan, is interviewed by a young writing student. She talks about how she became a writer, what has helped her write better, and how she ended up writing about Ivan the gorilla. The suggestions that help me the most in thinking about good writing include:
1. Don't plan to teach readers something when you write; instead, just tell the story and allow readers to learn what they will (at 2:24 in the video).
2. Read, read, read, read, read (at 5:53 in the video).
From that killer first line to dealing with writer’s block, author Chris D’Lacey shares his top writing tips. His ideas are practical and specific, and he gives examples that help young writers understand what he means. His examples are funny sometimes, and draw from very real mistakes that writers sometimes make.
My favorite suggestion: Avoid the "alarm clock" story opening, where the main character wakes up, yawns, stretches, gets out of bed, and walks to his closet to pick out his shorts. D'Lacey urges writers to get the story going, already!
In this NBC Learn special collection, children‘s book authors share their writing experiences to help students learn more about the craft and techniques of creative writing. Check out the following authors, in particular:
Jacqueline Woodson, who explains what makes a good story, and who says some unexpected things about writer's block; Jeff Kinney, who comes up with his story ideas in a unique way and revises his words as he illustrates them; and Laura Vaccaro Seeger, who offers helpful advice to young writers about how to get started.
Lois Lowry is the highly acclaimed author of more than 30 books for young people. Over the years, she has received numerous awards, including two Newbery Medals. She talks about her life's journey that led to her work as a writer and about the development of several of her best-known books. In the last segment, she helps young writers understand how she uses transitions to rev up and slow down the action in a story.
Squishy McFluff author Pip Jones with the best advice on writing stories that rhyme – and the golden rule is never, ever sacrifice a story for a rhyme! Ms. Jones offers specific strategies to help young writers start experimenting with rhyme, and she gives her own illustration of how the piece can be ruined if the rhyme becomes more important than the story.