I preach to my students all the time that they can’t be good writers if they aren’t readers. I’m sure they get sick of hearing this by the end of the year, but I think it might be one of the most important parts of being a writer so I talk about incessantly.
So when I get to read a book about writing? Total geek-mode. I borrowed Writer to Writer by Gail Carson Levine from the school’s library this spring. It’s a young adult book so the writing is directed for students that want encouragement in their fiction writing. To me, fiction writing is a mystery, and I’d much rather write non-fiction. But I thought reading this book would be good so I could recommend it to students.
And it is good for students! Each chapter walks through another element of writing fiction, explaining where Carson Levine gets in ideas, inspiration, routines, etc. Teenagers who read this book will be encouraged and get good practice at honing their craft. Each chapter ends with engaging and interesting writing prompts so the reader can try out what they’ve just learned.
As a teacher, I loved this book for the millions of ways I could use it in my classroom. I loved the ideas and explanations so much that I ordered a copy for each of my language arts teachers at school and asked them to read it over summer break. I know that many times, English teachers aren’t writers and it can be hard to teach writing if it’s not your thing. Heck, I love to write and it’s not easy for me to teach some skills. This book is such a great resource for the writing classroom.
Writer to Writer by Gail Carson Levine is full of great writing advice for the fiction writer, especially young adult writers. As an educator, I love the glimpses she gives to students about her process. She shares failures and successes and shows kids that writing, like so many other things in life, is something you have to practice to be good at. I can’t wait to use this in my classroom next year.