writing-magicHere’s a book my mom and I found last year while browsing through Borders in Plymouth, Massachusetts (going to a book store with my mom, without kids, is probably my most favorite thing in the whole world).

My son wants to be a writer when he grows up, but before I hand this book off to him, I have been holding on to it myself to bask in all its good advice. Gail Carson Levine (author of Ella Enchanted, The Two Princesses of Bamarre, Fairest) takes young writers on a straight forward path to writing their first stories. The guidance it gives, however, is so pertinent that even we old gals trying to write would be wise to sit down for an hour or two and read it through. She makes writing sound fun and achievable, which, of course, it is.

My favorite chapter is called “Suffer,” in which Levine explains how we must, as writers, be vicious to our main characters.  It’s a wall I am trying to climb up in my own writing right now, but the chapter is so simple, so to-the-point, I can get up from the book, sit down at my computer, and make my characters’ lives cruel with much more ease than I could before.

Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly is encouraging, funny, and an absolute must for anyone trying to write a novel.