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February 7, 2019

As readers, we’re drawn though a book because we care about the character, or we want to know what happens. But for a book that is a meditation on grief, something else has to pull us through this dark and potentially boggy place. In We Are Okay, Nina LaCour offers a h...

October 28, 2018

The windowless Beinecke Library floats over a stone plaza. Inside its cool waffeled shell, sunlight makes the white marble walls glow.

Nestled in this twilight is a six-story glass tower of old books. The muted leather spines rise just out of reach from the surrounding...

September 25, 2018

When we write, we send a story on a journey from our mind to the reader’s. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud defines mastery in comics as the percentage of the artist’s original ideas that survive the journey to the reader’s mind. [1]

Although we write without pict...

August 19, 2018

As writers, we obsess over chapter endings for good reason. 

The best ones hook readers for another few minutes, or hours. Not so good and it's lights-off-for-bedtime.

We love a good chapter ending when we read it, but recognizing one and writing one are mysteriously dif...

June 30, 2018

It takes a certain amount of gumption to create a world from scratch, especially when there's magic involved. All the details to consider - How will it work? What are the limits of the magic? Who knows about it? What do they do with their new with their magic?

Then, the...

May 15, 2018

There's been talk lately about whether children's books should tackle hard subjects. This one's a no-brainer for me. They should.

Kids read for truth and their world is not the cheery candy-colored confection adults strive so mightily to create. They should be given hop...

April 14, 2018

Learn to use setting, packing, verbs and sensory details to build a compelling action scene.

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