Be the Hero of Your Writing Process with Kendra Levin

by Leah Heilman Schanke

Kendra Levin, Executive Editor at Viking Children’s Books, author of The Hero Is You, and the September speaker in the SCBWI-Metro NY Professional lecture series, shared how writers can use the hero’s journey model to create a “holistic, healthy, creative writing process.” Many writers struggle with process and experience dark moments where they wonder, “Why am I writing this?” Levin said. “Writers need to find ways to work organically and be their best selves.”

The Same But Different: Writing For Children’s Series

Originally Published: June 2011

by Vicki Oransky Wittenstein

Random House editor Diane Landolf and Julie Tibbott, editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, spoke about the unique challenges of writing for children’s series at the SCBWI Metro New York Professional Series on April12th.

“All you know about writing craft applies to writing a series,” Landolf said. “You still need an engaging character, a strong voice, and a fast-paced plot.” But writing for a series does have distinct issues of craft. As Landolf emphasized, “With each book, series authors need to find a way to offer readers a similar experience to reading other books in the series while delivering a different plot.” (more…)

Passwords To Plot: The Secret Of Nancy Drew Mysteries

Originally Posted: March 6, 2010

by Emily Goodman

Author Chris Eboch discussed tools for fast-paced plotting in an information-packed talk called “What I Learned from Nancy Drew,” at the SCBWI-Metro New York Professional Series lecture on February 2, 2010.

Eboch, author of the Haunted series of middle grade ghost stories and other books, said the most important features of a plot are to get off to a fast start, to pack the middle full of action, and to use cliffhanger chapter endings.

“A fast start grabs the editor’s and reader’s attention and keeps them reading past page one,” said Eboch. She likes to start a book when the main problem is already under way, even if the main character doesn’t know it yet, and introduce the problem to solve as soon as possible. Then she works in the back story. (more…)