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READ LIKE A WRITER, a teaching blog

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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Chris Eboch on WRITING VIVID SCENES

[Note: This article is revised reprint from a 2012 CHILDREN’S WRITER column, published by The Institute.]

I read a lot of works in progress, between my work as a teacher through the Institute of Children’s Literature, my editorial business, and occasionally acting as a  Read More 

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FILLING HOLES IN THE CANON OF CHILDREN’S LIT

By Christine Kohler

I’ve always written to holes I see in children’s literature. I got into writing children’s lit in the early 1980s by writing what I could not find to buy for my own children—Christian contemporary “social problem” fiction with multi-racial casts. I sold the Growing Up Christian series  Read More 

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DIALOGUE TAGS THAT DON'T DISTRACT

By Christine Kohler

Have you been eating and a pesky fly won’t leave you alone? All I can think of is how that fly used to be a maggot. Dialogue tags can be like that, distracting to the point where you just want to throw your meal away. I have also put books  Read More 

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STARGAZER OR NAVEL-GAZER?

photo by Pixabay.com

By Christine Kohler

This article originally appeared on the (ICL) Institute of Children’s website.

Is your main character a stargazer or navel-gazer? Does your protagonist observe the world around him using his five senses? Or does she mutter inwardly to herself, totally self-absorbed? If your character is  Read More 

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5 Ways to Move a Story Forward in Time

By Christine Kohler

Think of a story as a train. It has a beginning, stops it needs to make, and a destination. And it has a timetable at which to reach each whistlestop and the final destination. You are the conductor who holds the stopwatch.

"Literature is… tied to time in a way the  Read More 

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THANKFUL FOR YEAR OF THE BOOK

By Christine Kohler

Wow! What a wild year 2014 has been. Last December Merit Press (Adams Media/ F+W Media) released the e-book of NO SURRENDER SOLDIER. January 2014 launched the hardback. I want to take this time at Thanksgiving to recap all the wonderful things that have  Read More 

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