Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook

Ellen Potter, Author, Anne Mazer, Author, Matt Phelan, Illustrator , illus. by Matt Phelan. Roaring Brook/Flash Point $16.99 (275p) ISBN 978-1-59643-514-8 ISBN 978-1-59643-628-2

Young scribes may find the tools they need with these guides to the craft.

Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter , illus. by Matt Phelan. Roaring Brook/Flash Point , $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59643-514-8 ; $9.99 paper ISBN 978-1-59643-628-2

This playful guide for aspiring writers aims to demystify the creative process as it explores first drafts and finding inspiration, the meat and potatoes of writing, and writer's block and criticism. Mazer (the Sister Magic series) and Potter (the Olivia Kidney books) challenge readers to dig deep into their characters, make a “mental compost pile” to find inspiration, and face revision head on, while modeling their own approaches. “I get ideas while waiting in lines, staring at the clouds, or lying sick in bed,” says Mazer; demonstrating how to build suspense, Potter shares the true story (“with a few embellishments”) of a robber hanging from her neighbor's terrace. Phelan's ink illustrations and a lighthearted humor enliven the text, and honest advice, such as “Your character's heart's desire is what propels your story forward,” are cogent and invaluable. Ages 9–14. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/18/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
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