DEAR ALLY, HOW DO YOU WRITE A BOOK? by Ally Carter

DEAR ALLY, HOW DO YOU WRITE A BOOK?

Age Range: 12 - 18
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A nonfiction how-to guide for teen writers by popular YA author Carter (Not If I Save You First, 2018, etc.).

Presented in an accessible question-and-answer format, Carter walks young readers comprehensibly and comprehensively through the steps of writing a novel, beginning with planning, worldbuilding, characters, and plot and ending with editing and a wholly realistic look at publishing. Breezy and honest, she encourages her audience to focus on the joy of writing, not the potential monetary rewards, and stresses repeatedly that there are many different ways to approach a story: “You have one job, and that’s to find the process that works for you.” Along the way, she addresses questions to and gathers data from a diverse crew of 30 established YA authors, among them Z Brewer, David Levithan, Soman Chainani, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Murphy, and Jay Coles. Several pages are devoted to the timely and important question of writing characters who are different from oneself, whether in gender, ethnicity or other ways. Unfortunately, the section on story structure presents the classic Western three-act narrative as universal, a disservice to aspiring writers who may wish to explore forms from other cultural traditions. Entertaining and informative charts showing answers from her guest contributors reinforce the myriad ways there are to succeed as a writer.

Written in a friendly style, this guide contains plenty of information and encouragement; fledging writers are well-served. (table of contents, contributor biographies, glossary) (Nonfiction. 12-18)


Pub Date: March 26th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-338-21226-6
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2019




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