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Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly by…

Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly (edition 2006)

by Gail Carson Levine

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Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine shares her secrets of making magic with your writing--Publisher-provided summary.
Title:Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly
Authors:Gail Carson Levine
Info:HarperCollins (2006), Edition: Edition Unstated, Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library

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Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly by Gail Carson Levine


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Levine is the person who wrote Ella Enchanted. I liked that book so much I wanted to check out her non-fiction book on "how to write". I thought, by the title, it would have to do with specifically magic and fantasy, but no, it's writing in general. That's not a bad thing.

This is one of the better writing books I've read. Liked it more than "Bird by Bird" (but that's not a high bar to jump for me). The focus is on prompts and exercises (i.e. you learn to write by writing). It also never wears out its welcome. Some books emphasize sentence structure and adverb placement -- too much nitty gritty. This one doesn't care, and it shouldn't. It's wants you out there and producing.

However, it is definitely skewed toward younger audiences. Middle school and high schoolers will get more out of this book than I did from Stephen King's "On Writing". ( )
  theWallflower | Dec 19, 2017 |
while this was written for young writers, I found it very inspiring as an adult. the content is concise and well thought out. there are plenty of writing exercises and they are not cheesy. her advice are solid and not just fluff. this is a good reference to return to again and again. ( )
  BefuddledPanda | Dec 4, 2017 |
I purchased this for my son (10) to use in our homeschool curriculum this year. As a writer, I understand the need to build the foundations early, and this guide offers that in a fun, witty, yet easy to understand. Last year, my son began creative writing on his own. He loves building worlds, characters, and engaging his imagination. I couldn't ignore it, but I realized I needed help.

After reading over each lesson and the instructions, I'm in love. I even found myself asking, "Where was this when I was his age?"

While a seasoned author might not find anything new in this book, I do think it has a place on our shelves. For me, it will be for creating memories with my children through the exercises, while honing my craft, and engaging their imaginations. That's priceless. ( )
  AuthorRaeZRyans | May 24, 2014 |
Each chapter of Levin's book either takes aim at many frustrations that stall the writing process or suggests new ways to transfer our feeling to paper and ultimately to our audience.

Throughout the book, Levin asks the reader to write.Unsurprisingly, this is the backbone of the book. In every case, she always gives you that first nudge in the right direction. She gets you thinking or writing by offering a flexible beginning point. This nudge flexible in the sense that you can make it your own.

Levin covers a host a frustrations that may arise in the process. Finding a topic, breaking writer's block, dealing with rejection, and 'stinking thinking' concerning you own talents as a writer.

Levin also gives suggestion of how to grow as a writer through groups,noticing little details, reaching out to the world and describing how senses make us feel. The idea is to make the reader feel the the emotions you get from others, your memories, or your immediate environment.

In many ways, this book surprising. A number of the topics never entered my mind. Such as the use of said and its variants,naming characters,the beginning as a flexible entity that can simply evolve as the rest of the story evolves.

I can't really due this review justice because any understanding of the writing process is far from seasoned, but I did toy with some of writing suggestions in a few of the chapters. that said, what I can say is the techniques Levin described made sense. Her examples of the techniques or advice from other books seemed to make her point the majority of the time.
  rgwomack | Dec 4, 2012 |
Writing magic has many tips to enhance your creative writing skills. The author uses language to make the reader feel comfortable about writing and addresses possiblew problems and fustrations that can arise during the creative writing process. Levine constantly propts her readers to save their writings and stresses the importance of every bit of writing you do. This advice helps students who may not see much value in the writing they do in class that seems to come back with more red marks than not.

Levine also stresses that writing should be a fun endeavor. This approach helps keep even hesitent students interested in the writing process. I would recommend this book for instructional purposes. ( )
  jsyoung | Nov 28, 2012 |
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