Nancy Lamb’s The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children

Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children (Write for Kids Library)Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children by Nancy Lamb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nancy Lamb’s The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children provided me with some great insights and tips. She suggests writing in a journal–unrelated to your current project–to keep track of ideas and memories that might be useful for recreating authenticity later. I really like this idea and have taken to carrying a journal with me just to write down things as they come to me or to note something that has happened. Writing a full “dear diary” entry never works for me, but always having that paper and nice pen with me definitely helps.

Lamb also suggests (among other ideas) creating a charted horizontal diagram to visualize the structure, plots and characters in the story. As a notorious color-coder (you should see my Google Calendar), this idea is amazing to me. Color-coding characters, plots, and subplots and tracking them by chapter would not only be helpful in seeing inconsistencies and structural gaps, it would be such a project to create that the immersion would help editing, too!

Throughout the book, Lamb offers various rules and suggestions. I took away several rules that seemed most appropriate or brilliant to me. Lamb’s endings rule states “you must always play out your ending onstage” (86)—with which I completely agree. I know as a reader I feel cheated when in the last pages the story is advanced ten years and everything is tied up in a neat little bow (cough-Jenna Fox-cough). This is something that I am going to actively attempt to do in my own writing—whenever it is that I actually get to an ending.

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