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Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook Paperback – March 30, 2010
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“Cogent and invaluable.” ―Publishers Weekly
“The best of recent volumes on the subject.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Two fine writers put their heads together and come up with an equally fine guide to their craft for beginners.” ―Booklist
“For years I have been thinking about writing a HOW TO book for kids who want to write. Now I don't have to. Anne and Ellen have crafted such a wonderful, funny, wise book about how to craft a wonderful, funny, wise book that when eager young writers send me a letter seeking my advice I can now simply say, ‘Read this!' My hat is off to this dynamic duo.” ―Bruce Coville, author of Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher
“The singular, intense yet funny voice of SPILLING INK shares advice--how to convince your characters they are alive, avoid noisy dialog tags, wear sunglasses to feel like a spy--with much lively wisdom, and nary a hint of adult condescension. An outstanding book.” ―Nancy Springer, author of The Enola Holmes Mystery series
Top Customer Reviews
This book is written in a thoroughly reader-friendly style, with the two authors taking turns giving advice in a manner reminiscent of blog posts. Hayes and Potter know their stuff, and it shows: as a writer, I was pleased to see such good ideas expressed so simply, not to mention humorously. For instance, the chapter and section titles are often entertaining: "More Crawling Lizards, Please," "Truth or Dare," "The Robo-Narrator," and "Belly Buttons" are a few of my favorites.
Take a look at the book's tone in this selection from Ellen Potter: "Before I started writing seriously, I was under the delusion that 'real' writers sit down and write out the entire story in one nearly perfect, spectacularly clever draft. Oh, sure, maybe they would change a word or two, or rename one of their characters 'Nathan' because his original name, 'Jake,' reminds them too much of their cousin Jake who belches the theme music to retro TV shows. But that's about it. Wrong! Hugely, profoundly, utterly wrong."
Spilling Ink offers instructive analogies, such as comparing a story's setting to a mood ring, and useful techniques, such as "the chicken-nugget circle." The authors provide short writing samples to illustrate their points here and there, which is so much more helpful than mere explanations.Read more ›
First let me say, this is MUCH more in-depth than I thought it would be! I had expected it to be like a "kid's version" of Joanna Penn's "How to Make a Living with Your Writing" (which I love and have read three times, but figured the tips were catered toward adults). However, this is more like a COMPLETE manual, and it's broken down into very informative sections. I haven't flipped through the whole thing (don't want to ruin the "fresh binding" for her) but here's the chapter list, as an idea:
1 - Is It Really This Simple?
2 - Ugly First Drafts
3 - Inspiration
4 - Convincing Your Characters That They Are Alive
5 - Naming Your Characters
6 - Blackberries, Raspberries, and Story Ideas
7 - Now We Get to the Weird Stuff: Plot
8 - Who Is Telling Your Story? The Narrative Voice
9 - Starting Points
10 - How to Create a Great Story Setting
11 - Suspense
12 - Title Tattle
13 - How to Write Dialogue
14 - Description
15 - More Crawling Lizards, Please: Talking About Illustrations
16 - Shape Shifters
17 - Ta-Da!
18 - Revision
19 - Journaling
20 - Two Heads Are Better Than One
21 - The Writing Process
22 - Hellooooo? Anybody Out There?
23 - Keeping Your Readers Awake
24 - Writers Are Strange Creatures. Thank Heavens!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really love it and its extremely helpful. It helped me become a better writer by developing characters and "not bullying them"Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
From blogger Alex Kourvo on the Writing Slices blog.
SPILLING INK is aimed at kids about nine to twelve years old. Read more
This is a great book for helping a budding author to really start learning the craft of writing. It's easy for young people to understand and the authors have wonderful, funny... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jett, romance and shojo fan
My son has really statred using his imagination and loves to write. This book has helped him with his idea. Would definitely recommend.Published 3 months ago by cbass
Outstanding!!!! Inspiring!!!!! I'm one of those late in life bloomers who never wrote a book, only entries in my journal. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Hogin Corp
Well written so my aspiring-author-13 year old-niece can understand it and start planning!Published 5 months ago by T.B. Cooper