The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children (Write for Kids Library) 1st Edition
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For four years, I have been searching for a book to use as a text...finally I have found one. -- Ann Paul, children's writing instructor, UCLA Extension
I think it is the best book on the craft of writing that I have ever read. -- Andrea Brown, literary agent
It's all hereeverything you need to know . . . a 'must have' for every novice or professional writer. -- Janet Zaren, children's book reviewer for the Palisadian-Post
It's all hereeverything you need to know...a 'must have' for every novice or professional writer. -- Janet Zaren, children's book reviewer for the Palisadian-Post
From the Author
This book deals with fundamentals. I explore story ideas and writing and structure. What makes a character memorable and what it is about certain childrens books that makes readers keep turning the pages. I discuss beginning, middle and end; premise, theme and tone; dialogue and point of view; conflict and structure; plot and subplot. I also talk about the importance of choosing a voice that enhances your story and the power of using the five senses to add texture and authenticity to that story.
This is a book about basics...a book that shows you how to apply what you learn to your own writing in easy-to-follow, step-by-step detail.
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This books explores most if not all facets of writing with a focus on children stories. Very dense, her book offers enough information in each topic to get you started writing and to understand story structure. An excellent primer for beginners, the book serves well for experienced writers as a refresher. Lots of golden nuggets in each page. It is a book that will not remain on your shelf collecting dust. It's not the end all book on writing but will save you time and money from buying poor quality how to books on writing. Her style is very straightforward. She offers good examples to make her point as well as exercises at the end of each chapter geared to either the writing of your story or an element that raises your awareness to good writing. Buy the book. You won't be sorry.
Also, Check out her new book "The Art and Craft of Storytelling"!!!!
For those who want more complex opinions on writing fiction there are many noted authors who wrote excellent texts on what in their opinion is excellent literature.
The author fulfilled her pact with this very pleased reader and reviewer.
Top international reviews
I also wish more advice was given on how to write for smaller children. Not how to write a novel. I was looking for advice on how to write books on the same vein as the Astrosaurs or Rainbow Fairies, not a Nancy Drew type of book.
But this is one book I would recommend to it anyone who wants to start writing longer work for older children. The advice is solid and sound.
As with every theory book, it may take the spontaneity out of writing if you stick it to religiously, so be aware of that. Also, the author is American, I think, so, it is worth to remember that as sometimes they do not have the same turn of phrases as in the UK.
I will keep it on my desk and use it as a reference book.
At £13.00, it is a bit pricey and if you are on a tighter budget, I would really suggest to check out forums for new or would be authors, blogs about writing, they are quite a lot out there, and you would get the same good advice, and sometimes, personalised advice, for free.
However, the title is slightly misleading: 'Writing Stories for Children' means writing *novels* for children.
I had hoped, and expected, that it would cover short stories as well as full-length novels. But it's all about novels.
Also, I had expected it to be about writing for children, yet a lot of space is devoted to writing for young adults (teenagers).
A more appropriate title would be 'Writing novels for children and teens'.
If you're looking for advice on how to write novels for a young audience, I recommend this book. But if you want to write short stories, this book may not be the best choice.
I bought the book as an aide-memoire to help me construct an adult workshop on writing for children. While I've taught many children about writing in a school environment, an adult workshop needs a different slant. I'm so grateful to Ms Lamb for reminding me what I should be putting into it, and for the many useful tips she gives. I shall be crediting her fully, and recommending this book to all my students. My workshop will only be for a day, but this book has enough material to fuel a lifetime of writing. My only caveat would be that UK readers may not be familiar with most of the books and authors Ms Lamb uses as examples. However, it shouldn't be a problem to get hold of them via Amazon or AbeBooks. Just see this as a whole load of fine discoveries to make for your future reading pleasure. If you really want to be a children's writier, buy it and use it. You absolutely can't go wrong. Definitely the best of those currently on the market.
Nancy Lamb's Guide is one of the best in my opinion,simply top notch. Written in a natural, reader friendly style, this really is a must have book for anyone wishing to write. Lamb's use of modern examples to illustrate elements of structure, plotting and characterisation is excellent, with something here for writers of all levels.
Having read it cover to cover at the first sitting I've revisited various sections of the book again and again, and I think any writer would do the same.
Whether writing for children, young adults or adults, this book should be on your shelf.
Nancy Lamb gives clear examples throughout this book on techniques such as structural design, plot, sub plots, scenes, point of view, voice and tone, characters, mid story crisis, etc., etc. Chapter headings are Foundation & Structure, Structual Supports, Interior Designs, and Finishing Touches. She covers everything, even how to deal with that inner critic.
Her writing style is very comfortable to follow and easy to read. I too, like another reviewer, experienced something inspirational and magical while reading this book which really helped my creative muse. Ms. Lamb helped me to rethink the structure and plot of my book with a better understanding of where I was going and how to carry the story through. She uses solid examples taken from popular children's books throughout to demonstrate her point and I think that's what I found most useful. She teaches you to analyze the techniques in the books that you read to see how they are written, what the author was doing--that was amazing and I'll never read a book the same way again... "reading in a way that teaches you how to write".
She has lots of tip pages like "Nancy Lamb's Twenty-Six Steps to Good Writing". Many of these I want to pin up next to my computer as I write to check against each chapter. For example, "Does it carry the scene advance the plot or develop the characters? If not rewrite it or get rid of it".