May 20, 2016

Turning Points


A few weeks ago, I talked about turning points at the New England SCBWI spring conference.

The main point was this: As you write (especially a first draft), you may not know everything about how your story will unfold, but you DO know some things.

For example, you may know:

Who your protagonist is

What he/she wants

Who the main antagonist is

What obstacles will get thrown in the way...

Maybe you know the initial premise, and how your story will end. (When I started my first draft of Jump the Cracks, that's all I knew.)

But the thing is, you don't have to know your whole story to start writing. You only have to know ONE thing about your story, and you can write your way to that point. Or write THAT scene: the one you KNOW will have to happen at some point in your story.

Then, fill in the blanks as you go. Because once you write SOMETHING, other things will become apparent to you, and then you can write THOSE things.

It's a lot like walking through the woods. There may be several possible paths, but once you decide you are hiking the blue trail and not the orange trail, that's a start. You walk along, watching for the next blue blaze. And when you get there, you know you have to look for the NEXT blue blaze.

Writing is so similar. Write a scene--ANY scene--that you KNOW has to happen in your book. Then think about another thing that will HAVE to happen as a result...and write that. Repeat.

Look for the blazes. You can write a whole book that way, or at least a good underlying structure.

Happy trails!

Jun 3, 2015

Mapping a Reader's Life

Here's a link to my post at the Nerdy Book Club on how I became a reader (and why I became a writer).
xo

Apr 20, 2015

Workshop Outline: "Demystifying the Editorial Process" at the Mark Twain House, April 18, 2015

Here's the whole thing, if you didn't get a handout.

It's a Google doc. If you can't open it, email me or leave a comment, and I'll send you the Word document directly.

Thanks for attending!

Workshop Outline: Demystifying the Editing Process


Feb 14, 2015

We love teachers! 16 Free Books for Valentine's Day!

Are you a teacher, librarian, or reading specialist? Do you want 16 signed midgrade books for your school or classroom?

Most of them are brand new or soon-to-be-published. A few are familiar favorites. (There's even a big award-winner hiding in the mix!)

For your chance to win signed copies of ALL these books, just do one of two things:

1. Leave a comment below


OR

3. Tweet about the giveaway using the hashtag #MGAuthorsLoveTeachers

Your name will be entered into the virtual hat, and we’ll draw the winner at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, February 18th. If you win, you’ll receive signed copies of ALL these books–not all at once, because some of them don’t publish until March or April, but won’t it be fun to get multiple packages in your mailbox?
Good luck!

(And if you want a similar boatload of YA books, hop on over to Sarah Darer Littman's blog for another chance to win!)

Here are the titles in the giveaway:


Why'd They Wear That?
by
Sarah Albee


Random Body Parts
by
Leslie Bulion


Beetle Busters
by
Loree Griffin Burns


Walk Two Moons
by
Sharon Creech


One Witch at a Time
by
Stacy DeKeyser


Fish in a Tree
by
Lynda Mullaly Hunt



Paper Things
by
Jennifer Richard Jacobson



How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel
by
Jess Keating



On the Road to Mr. Mineo's
by
Barbara O'Connor



Wish Girl
by
Nikki Lofton



Mark of the Thief
by
Jennifer A. Nielsen


The Way to Stay in Destiny
by
Augusta Scattergood


The Gossip File
by
Anna Staniszewski


Emmanuel's Dream
by
Laurie Ann Thompson


Blue Birds
by
Caroline Starr Rose


Brown Girl Dreaming
by
Jacqueline Woodson



Whew!
Good luck!






Jan 25, 2015

Blog Tour!

Announcing the official schedule of the One Witch at a Time blog tour! Check out a few (or all) of these fabulous blogs for author interviews, guest posts, reviews, and giveaways!

February 9
Cracking the Cover


February 10
Haunting of Orchid Forsythia


February 11
Mother-Daughter Book Club


February 12
GreenBeanTeenQueen


February 13
The Book Monsters


February 16
Word Spelunking


February 17
Read Now, Sleep Later


February 18
Small Review


February 19
KidLit Frenzy


February 20
The Flashlight Reader


Nov 4, 2014

I'm starting a newsletter

"Oh, joy!" I can hear you saying. "Finally, we can get news from Stacy without doing anything!"

Well, you need to do ONE thing.

You need to sign up here, if you want occasional news and interesting info sent to your inbox.

I promise to make it pertinent, and I also promise not to share your info with anyone else.

Oct 22, 2014

Thanks, CRA attendees!


If you attended my workshop at the Connecticut Reading Association conference on October 23, here is the PowerPoint presentation that accompanied the workshop:

Revision Tricks Any Kid Can Do

And here is a Revision Tricks Guide (based on the presentation) that your students can use as they revise their own work.

Feel free to download and use them with your students.

Have fun, and thanks!

Stacy