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Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly
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Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  2,926 ratings  ·  443 reviews
In Writing Magic, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine shares her secrets of great writing. She shows how you, too, can get terrific ideas for stories, invent great beginnings and endings, write sparkling dialogue, develop memorable characters—and much, much more. She advises you about what to do when you feel stuck—and how to use helpful criticism. Best of all, she off ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by HarperCollins (first published September 1st 2006)
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Allison Tebo Neither, really! It's about how to make your writing better - how to find your 'pixie dust'. …moreNeither, really! It's about how to make your writing better - how to find your 'pixie dust'. (less)

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  2,926 ratings  ·  443 reviews

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Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
I bought this book for my oldest daughter who absolutely loves to write. After picking it up I found myself doing some of the writing prompts myself. It’s wonderful and really keeps you engaged. The author teaches you how to write good fiction and also how to deal with struggles along the way. The lessons can be applied to other types of writing as well.

Panda Incognito
I'm pretty sure I owe Gail Carson Levine my soul for convincing me to save everything I wrote.

When I was eleven and read this book for the first time, I was desperate for help: I could not control my drive to write, but knew that everything I wrote was garbage, and was caught in a constant cycle of hand-cramped creativity and furious rage over how incapable I was. I wanted to be able to improve, and although no book could ever be a magical fix, this one offered some helpful advice and got me thi
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

Although WRITING MAGIC is geared towards young adults, this is the perfect helper for anyone who has ever wanted to write a book. Creating stories is hard work. It takes practice, discipline, and dedication. It would be nice to think that writing a book simply means sitting down and typing up words, but, alas, it really doesn't work that way. Thankfully, though, we have Gail Carson Levine, Newbery Honor author of some of my favorite books (ELLA ENCHANTED, THE T
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm sixteen years old and have had this book for s couple of years now and let me just say that no book has ever communicated such a deep appreciation and love of the art and whimsical power of writing as Gail Carson Levine did in this book. I've written stories for as long as I van remember and this book has been a true treasure to me! I recently finished an almost 300 page book that sparked from one of the story openers in this book! My story change over time and went from the intended 20 page ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Gail Carson Levine is a quirky author. I hate to say it, but I've yet to read "Ella Enchanted" or "Dave at Night" or any of her princess books. I have heard of "Ella" but I just never really thought of picking it up. I might after reading this book. Heck, I'll go ahead and say it, I didn't even know who the author was until she mentioned "Ella Enchanted". It's sad, I know...
It is a very helpful book. I like the way she presented things and how she offered more than one way to do everything, bein
Yvonne Olson
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I hate reading books on writing. They're all either dry, give bland advice, or they repeat what they say over and over again, and it feels like reading one of the countless OTHER books out there on writing.
This book doesn't feel that way for me.
I've adored Gail Carson Levine since I was a child. Ella Enchanted was one of the books that made me who I am today, steered my interests towards fractured fairy tales. I've read many of her books, and she is so
Lili P
Jul 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful book! It is a great book for beginners, but even some experienced writers can glean great truths. Every piece of information was easy to read, understand, and learn from. I also loved the exercises! I got tons of great ideas from those projects and started a lot of cool stories.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Geared toward younger and beginning writers, Writing Magic has some really interesting tips for just getting into the story you want to write and to seek inspiration in everything. A quick, encouraging read!
Thomas J. Benedict
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cool little book. I always learn something new and important reading these.

Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers and those who want to start writing.
I. Love. This. Book.

Writing Magic is not the type of book on writing that tells you how to write. It is more a book of writing prompts and exercises. Mrs. Levine doesn't tell you how to write, she just gives you advice and examples of things like writing in the third person, or writing details in your stories.
One of my favorite chapters is Writers' Groups and Other Helpers. It is about being involved in writers groups, or just letting others see your writing. As a writer I know how it is to le
Jessica (JT)
My mom ordered this book for me years ago (when I was in my early teens) after I read Ella Enchanted and wanted to read everything that Gail Carson Levine had to offer. She did not read the description so she did not realize that it was not a story, but rather a collection of tips on how to become a writer yourself. When this book arrived and I got my first glimpse of the cover and title I thought it would be about a girl who could write something down and then magic would happen from the words ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
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.
Giselle Bradley
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was very much writing 101 for children and young adults. I enjoyed it but it wasn't groundbreaking. I more so enjoyed this book for seeing behind the scenes of Gail's books and seeing her specific writing process. ...more
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-writing
This is a great, sweet, straightforward craft book, and I wish I'd had it when I was in sixth grade. ...more
Mariposa Aristeo
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The advice was a bit simplistic, but it’s a great book for beginning writers (especially for kids who want to write)! And Gail’s voice is so friendly and personal, it was like sitting down at a coffee shop with her. :D
Samantha Stambaugh
Great resource.
Review to come!
I want to qualify my three star rating with this: Were I in the age group this book is intended for, I'd probably have rated it a 4 or 5.

This is a good book for its audience, and elementary school kids should enjoy reading the short chapters that teach writing basics with a familiar, friendly tone. This book invites kids to play on the page, and encourages the magic of writing while striving to remove the pressure of first draft perfection. It also teaches readers to "Save what you wrote"--somet
Charly Troff (ReaderTurnedWriter)
This is a great little book! It is obviously targeted at a younger audience and it is perfect for that. It's short, simple, but gives great information and is very encouraging. Even as an adult, I felt I came away a better, more motivated writer and, as a big fan of her other books, loved learning more about Levine's life and writing process! ...more
Hilary Bush
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've never read anything by Gail Carson Levine but I enjoyed this and I felt like she was very encouraging. It put me in the mood to get back into fiction writing. ...more
Amanda  Woolard
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is inspiring and helpful to writers! It offers great insight and exercises that relate.
Nov 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
The only time I ever pick up a writing guide is when I'm in a writing slump and I need motivation. Normally, any writing guide will do it, and I don't even need to agree with the advice. Yet, this one didn't work. I feel no motivation. I didn't even learn anything. This book used an annoying voice that made the author sound like a kindergarten teacher the WHOLE time. To top it all off, there wasn't even any tips! It just said to practice writing until you get better. I wanted TIPS. TIPS. If you' ...more
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is written for the young writer, as in biological years. However, I found it no less informative and helpful as a 47-year-old writer. In fact, though I've been writing my whole life, I consider myself a "youth" when it comes to my writing career. I did the exercises at the end of the chapters and even submitted a few of the short stories that came out of the writing prompts. This book was light and an easy read. I could easily have read it in one sitting, but I took the time to do the ...more
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: homeschool
A great short read with tips from a real author on writing. Included are little stories and tips about developing stories and characters, choosing point of view, even how she names her characters. It is written for kids, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Since I listended to it in the car I didn't do the writing exercises. I plan rereading the book and completing the writing exercises along with my kids. ...more
Chelsea Hagen
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another great book about learning to write. It had some good tips about publishing that I found very useful.
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Used for a creative writing curriculum. It was so fun! Highly recommend.
Jun 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-on-writing
I'm definitely above the target age range/experience level for this but I think that it's got solid advice and foundations for kids and/or novice writers who want to have a good idea of the basics. ...more
Jun 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: craft
I wish I had read this book when I was like, thirteen. It's a great craft book aimed at younger writers.

Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although Levine wrote this book for the "young" writer, her advice is solid and insightful for writers of all ages. ...more
Emily Sidoruk
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed hearing Gail Carson Levine speak about her wisdom and writing tips that she has gained over the years. She made me laugh several times and it easily felt like I was sitting in her kitchen, madly scribbling down the advice she was pouring forth. Ella Enchanted is one of my favourite books and it was incredible to hear the inside workings of the author's mind. ...more
Oct 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Realized I never added this to my "read" list. I read this years ago :O ...more
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Just letting you all know: I'm only going to review books I love. There's enough negative criticism without me piling on. A book is too hard to write.

Gail Carson Levine grew up in New York City and began writing seriously in 1987. Her first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Fairest; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Yo

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