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Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  421 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Bestselling author of Ella Enchanted and fairy-tale master Gail Carson Levine shares her secrets of great writing in this companion to the popular Writing Magic.

Have you ever wanted to captivate readers with a great opening, create spectacular and fantastical creatures, make up an entire country, realize a dastardly villain, write an epic love story, or make your character
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 23rd 2014 by HarperCollins
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Beth Schmelzer It appears to be for professional writers, but if you are a teen or above and you are practicing your writing, I say try it as a sample on your…moreIt appears to be for professional writers, but if you are a teen or above and you are practicing your writing, I say try it as a sample on your e-reader! Then you will know your answer. I can guess from your smile that you are a perceptive reader and writer! I haven't read it yet, but I love her writing and I think all writers can benefit from accomplished ones. (less)
Kristie Raburn If you are looking for a friendly, down to earth book on writing, this is the one you need.

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4.01  · 
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 ·  421 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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lot of useful info & it did get me inspired to keep working on my novel-in-progress. But I was disappointed she never mentioned anything related to social justice, especially when she encouraged young writers to use physical character description to show personality & made a very heterosexist romance chapter. It was also quite skewed towards fantasy & realism, so those interested in other genres would do better to find another writing guide.
Traci Elliott
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn't *completely* finish this, I skipped around, but I think it's a great book! It would be especially good for teens that have an interest in writing.
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014

It's always interesting to read a book that offers advice on writing. I love the candidness with which Levine approaches her thoughts! This is a good book for younger readers, but even an older reader like me can learn a lot from this book. Plus, there are fun writing prompts too!


(Originally posted on Alexa Loves Books)

Even though the process of writing is pretty subjective, it’s always helpful to learn from those with a bit of experience. This is why I picked up Writer to
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Definitely intended for a precocious child-writer, or possibly an average teenage writer, or perhaps just a very dull adult.

But there’s a sweetness to it, to seeing GCL interact with her readers (the book is largely a response to questions posed to her blog about writing).

It’s an exceedingly wholesome book of the kind I find myself seeking out often these days, that gives my brain and my heart a wee break from the harshness of other places. It’s like having your favourite aunt, or your grandmot
Libby Grossman
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. I took several notes and even managed to get a good idea for a story or two. I skipped the poetry part because I'm not much of a poetry writer and don't plan on it. The rest of the book though was very helpful and insightful.
Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is SOOOOO helpful! It feels as though Miss Levine is actually teaching you a class on how to create better writing. And even if you're a great writer, her prompts are fun for practice or for starting a new idea! I definitely need to own this book.
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book goes a bit deeper than Writing Magic by the same author. I liked this a little better since the language, while still aimed at younger aspiring writers, is less childish. There are even more prompts and writing exercises.
Catherine Tankard
Apr 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I believe that this might have helped me if I didn't already know the subjects the author was talking about....
Jeanny Linh
I learned more about poetry than writing fiction itself, but I enjoyed knowing about the author's writing process and it has some amazing writing prompts!
Vivien Mavis  Ryder
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome! I finished it on January 12th, 2019, and it is the fourth of my one hundred books to read in 2019.

This book is basically a book about writing: how to do it, hpow to get better at it. There is a HUGE section on poetry, the one thing I did not love, so if that is one of your interests too, then this book would be perfect for you to read.

I think that Gail Carson Levine has some pretty great advice in here, and I adored how she referred to other authors and poets to back up
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Elementary, Middle, and High School and beyond
Gail Carson Levine has done it again. I can't believe how talented she is. I have always loved her novels, and since I was in elementary school have kept "Writing Magic" in the back of my head as a favorite. It inspired me to start seriously writing and made me fall (further) in love with fantasy. In this edition, "Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink," Levine takes what she discussed in her first book a bit further, encouraging young writers to embrace real life events and to create characters t ...more
Kate Willis
I loved this book's chatty, insightful, and honest tone from the moment I opened it. I immediately felt kinship with the author when I discovered she was also a pantser--and a published one at that! This book didn't say "show don't tell" or "just write"; it gave encouragement and advice on how to show and what to do when you are too busy fussing over your story to progress or are completely inspiration dead. The poetry section wasn't my favorite, but it could be useful to a beginner in that fiel ...more
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I read this book for two reasons. 1) I love Ella Enchanted and Levine holds a special place in my heart for that childhood memory and 2) I've always been interested in the reading/writing process.

This book is put together from Levine's blog on writing. I've never visited her website, and I found the information in the book to be useful and interesting even though I don't write. She is encouraging and makes the writing process sound fun and imaginative. She gives great writing prompts that I cou
E. Burden
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's friendly enough to not feel like a lecture on creative writing and all the processes that go with it, but serious enough that you get some deep questions answered in lengthy detail: and it does all of this without being boring.

I grabbed this because I love books on writing and because my oldest daughter had read Ella Enchanted last year for school. I'm so glad that I did. Her blog, which the questions asked generally came from, is also amazing and full of great ideas to help get your inspi
Katy Wilmotte
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's been several years since I read Writing Magic, but I have fond memories of that book, particularly one prompt that was so vivid, it spawned an entirely new character and altered the course of a novel.

Now, knee-deep in Nanowrimo and a big fan of Levine's, I was bound to read Writer to Writer, which, from what I can remember of Writing Magic, carried a lot of that same humor and wholesome advice. The prompts here were not as fantasy oriented as in the first book--Levine is writing more her b
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book about writing by one of my favorite authors? Um, YES PLEASE!!! Let's just put aside the fact that Mrs. Levine is an amazing author to begin with, and look at this nonfiction book specifically. Here, Levine presents commonly asked questions and answers from her personal experience as well as research. She gives us practical ways to apply practical advice to our own writing. AND, perhaps best of all, she gives you SOOOO much fodder for practice! So many crazy and cooky prompts to get your c ...more
Allisa White
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such a great book! Levine's voice is funny and very down-to-earth, making it a great read for young and old writers alike. She had a lot of great advice and some awesome writing exercises that I'm excited to try out once I give this book another read!
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved the section on poetry, a nice change from the writing books I normally pick up.
The prompts are inspiring, and repeating "keep what you write" gives me that extra nudge I need. Lots of great tidbits, Thanks!
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it
3 1/2 Stars
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hat auch ein Kapitel übers bloggen. Sehr gutes Buch über den Aufbau von Büchern, auch wenn man kein Autor ist.
Kira Brighton
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely book. It reminded me a little of my excitement for my own books. It also reminded me how terrible I am at description, but, you know. LOL.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another look at the writing process, with writing prompts I found valuable.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Ok for writers learning to create children's fantasy novels. For anybody else, not so useful.
Savannah Porter
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
Disappointed. Should have known it was mainly a book directed toward writers of children fantasy. There were some universal points, but not enough for me to love it.
Oct 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Very solid writing book. But I stopped reading it because I wasn't engaged, whether it was because I wasn't in the mood or didn't find the presentation inspiring, I'm not sure. Still a very solid book, especially for a younger aspiring writer.
Online Eccentric Librarian
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing

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More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

This is a wonderful, well written, friendly, and very informative guide to writing. Although ostensibly written for older kids (e.g., teens), there is so much great information in here as to be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in - or who loves - the craft of writing. The focus is purely on all aspects of a story, from making characters sympathetic to setting and dialogue. But more importantly, the book is li
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Even though I am a nonfiction writer and reader, I thoroughly enjoyed reading every chapter of this book. I do admit, I didn't complete many of the suggested exercises. I did when I thought I needed it. I could spend a year or more just on this book because of its depth and thoroughness.

Since I'm working on a memoir at the moment, there was a lot of suggestions I took away with that had me returning to some of the stories and improving them. At first, I didn't want to review those older stories
Jan 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing-advice
Wonderful book on writing, as long as you aren't looking for anything terribly deep and profound. If you liked Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly I think you will also enjoy this one. Some fun prompts to get you going. Still, not the first book I would recommend for aspiring authors, so if you're looking for life-changing advice, you won't find it here. :)
Evelyn Mercy Price
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading Writer to Writer by Gail Carson Levine. I LOVED it! I think it was even better than Writing Magic. Definitely a book I need to own so I can come back to the most inspiring and helpful sections. I found it especially helpful in the sections about character development and I took lots of notes throughout. The best part though? She even has a whole section just for poetry!
Talk about further justification to re-write my novel in verse!
Katie Fitzgerald
In Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink beloved children's fantasy author Gail Carson Levine compiles writing advice she has given on her blog into a handy reference guide for aspiring young writers. Eight sections cover everything from inspiration to creating characters and settings, to understanding form poetry. Each chapter provides a list of writing prompts and the author's blessing to use them in the reader's own writing projects.

This book, though directed at children, is appropriate for asp
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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