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READ LIKE A WRITER, a teaching blog

EMOTIONS JOURNAL

by Christine Kohler

When I switched from writing non-fiction to novels, I hit a snag when trying to create emotions for my characters. I realized that I had walled up many of my own emotions in order to be able to deal with difficult people and situations on an intellectual level instead. So, eight  Read More 

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WRITING AUTHENTIC ANIMALS IN FICTION

Author Christine Kohler with her shelter dog, mixed schnauzer Abby.

By Christine Kohler

In playwriting class my professor advised to never put animals or children in your plays because they are unpredictable. However, in middle grade and young adult novels, animals not only often star in the stories, but may even increase sales. One of my favorites in realistic fiction is MG novel BECAUSE  Read More 

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OBJECTIVE CORRELATIVE: EVOKE EMOTIONS WITH OBJECTS

The baseball in NO SURRENDER SOLDIER is an objective correlative.

By Christine Kohler

When NO SURRENDER SOLDIER (Merit Press, 2014) released, a newspaper reporter called for an interview. She had read my historical YA novel, and remarked, “I was so worried about the baseball! I wondered whether Kiko would get his brother’s baseball back.” The reporter  Read More 

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ENDING WELL

By Christine Kohler

They lived happily ever after. *shaking head; strike that*
(Second try) The moral of the story is… *ack! Delete*
(Fourth try) So she grew up to be a doctor and her parents were very proud of her. *rolling eyes; Cut!*
(Sixth try) She smiled. Grandpa laughed. *grumble, grumble; Wad up paper,  Read More 

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Reviewers, Readers Select NO SURRENDER for Diversity Lists

On my June 26, 2015, blog post I wrote about writing diverse literature. NO SURRENDER SOLDIER is repeatedly selected by reviewers and readers for categories reflecting diverse characters and cultures.

Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity at Alex Baugh's The  Read More 

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Writing Diverse Characters Different from those Inherent to the Author

By Christine Kohler

In 1985, my first four fiction children’s books were published by Concordia Publishing House in a series called Growing up Christian. Those contemporary stories for ages 5-9 tackled social problems, such as attitudes toward disabled people and illness. My main character in two stories is Jennifer, who is white, and her  Read More 

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MAGICAL WRITING: LEARNING IN LEAPS

by Janni Lee Simner

How do we learn as writers? How do we take our work to the next level?

We all know the places we can go to learn. Formal conferences and workshops. Less formal critique groups and beta readers. Reading books about writing, and reading other books—so many other books—by  Read More 

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THOUGHTS ON INTERNAL MONOLOGUE

by Christine Kohler

In the quest for writing character-driven stories, it is easy to fall into the trap of having a character musing to oneself too much. By musing, I'm talking about thoughts, also called internal monologue, or interior monologue.

Often writers write the first draft in too much internal monologue to get the  Read More 

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STATIONS OF THE CROSS, an Out-take Chapter from NO SURRENDER SOLDIER

By Christine Kohler

I do not recommend reading this chapter if you have not read my historical novel NO SURRENDER SOLDIER, set on Guam. But if you have read the coming-of-age story and are curious about the editorial process, you might find this fascinating. In the original version, I wrote this “Stations of the  Read More 

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WEAVING FOREIGN WORDS SEAMLESSLY INTO ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEXT

This article first appeared
Adventures in YA Publishing (March 6, 2015) and Uncommon YA (March 20, 2015)

by Christine Kohler

Imagine you open a book and one character's dialogue is in a foreign language that you do not read.  Read More 

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