Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children by Nancy Lamb

More of an introduction than in-depth look at the writing craft, I found this book a good refresher, especially with my teensy-weensy memory. I did skim some parts such as beginning, middle, end, conflict, and voice, but I did find some of the writing information helpful when it comes to analyzing stories as I read them. I didn't particularly like the first chapter that focuses on what she calls the "magic hour" which is basically your brain working on your story while you sleep. The following chapters are more concrete and helpful with examples regarding structure, characters, and plot.

I did like the part about the 6 stages of a hero's quest and vaguely remember studying Joseph Campbell's monomyth or hero's quest. While Nancy Lamb's explanation is simpler, I liked her example of "Catcher in the Rye." Two things I haven't really thought about with the writing craft is the subplot and premise. She covers this and it made me think of some of the reviews I've done in the past. The last chapter has some interesting tips to think about when writing such as eliminating all the "that's." I have not heard that one. 

I did find the swear words in Lamb's examples disconcerting, but many come from her reference to the book, "How to Write a Damn Good Novel" or examples from middle and high school novels. I was expecting only children's books but that isn't the case. 

The writing is easy-to-read and engaging. If you are looking for a quick read and want to remember what you learned in your English courses, then I recommend picking this one up.

3 out of 5 Smileys

No comments:

Post a Comment