A Junior Library Guild book selection.
...(F)antasy author Levine doles out realistic and helpful guidance...offering this advice: writers write, they keep writing, and they save everything they write to use again. Levine’s tone is conversational and upbeat and her suggestions easy to follow, tinged with an underlying sense of encouragement that will bolster readers. She discusses common difficulties, warning young people not to get hung up on minutiae and letting them know that confronting challenges is a surmountable part of the craft. The chapters are based on questions that have been posted to her blog and address how to develop characters and backstory, come up with plot twists and flashbacks, and create mystery and tension. Each chapter ends with appealing and doable exercises...An engaging and valuable addition.
★ School Library Journal, November 2014
...This book represents a best-of collection of the entries in (her) blog, but the posts have been expanded, shaped, and collected into coherent topics ranging from the many ways a writer might schedule her writing time, to places to get ideas, to developing character, plot, and other aspects of story, to tips on achieving clarity in your prose. In addition to these post gleanings, Levine has added chapters on poetry writing and on blogging itself...(S)he quotes directly from people who have posted questions to the blog as her impetus for each chapter’s subject matter, and while the book may be entered at any chapter, the prompts themselves often build cumulatively on the story snippets she uses to inspire and illustrate her points. The snippets themselves are marvelously diverse, opening the possibilities for writing in a multitude of genres. By the end of the book, if a reader has faithfully followed her instruction, he or she will be well on the way to becoming a writer.
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
...The author draws from her experience as a writer and teacher of writing workshops to develop sections on being a writer; character; plot; the underpinnings of storytelling, such as tense and word choice; and poetry...Levine is an amusing, approachable writing coach. By incorporating comments from blog readers, she intercepts many of the questions aspiring writers might ask. The tone is distinctly geared toward younger readers, but the prompts are specific and interesting enough to intrigue high school students or even adults...Especially valuable for young writers of fantasy, Writer to Writer will engage aspiring writers of all ages.
Voice of Youth Advocates, December 2014
...(S)he offers general guidance...as well as specific direction for everything from building character to choosing and
managing tense, drawing on examples of excellence from everyone from M. T. Anderson to Langston
Hughes. Individual chapters on different elements of story offer practical suggestions the chapter on
building tension features no fewer than 10 useful tools...(A)vid writers will find meaningful guidance, support,
and inspiration in Levine’s polished, enthusiastic instruction.
Booklist, November 1, 2014
Have fun, and save what you write! Those words...form the heart of the author’s advice...Chapters explore finding inspiration (and time to write), character- and plot-building, and writing poetry, among other topics...Questions from visitors to Levine’s blog are used as springboards, and Levine is generous in sharing her struggles, tactics, and experience.
Publishers Weekly, September 29, 2014
...Character building and hatching the plot are clearly what young writers get stuck on most often and thus receive substantial treatment here. Other issues, such as theme, mid-story crisis, back story, flashback, foreshadowing and mystery are also covered. There's a seriousness about the craft that's refreshing; Levine is determined to help young writers get the underpinnings right -- verb tense, using a thesaurus (or word grazing, as she calls it), clarity and grammar...A well-meaning and friendly resource that may well save young writers much time and distress and, perhaps, lead to success in getting published.
Kirkus, October 15, 2014