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How to Build a Story . . . Or, the Big What If

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4.42  ·  Rating details ·  19 ratings  ·  9 reviews
From bestselling author Frances O’Roark Dowell comes a fresh and accessible guide to storytelling that breaks down the sometimes-daunting writing process into straightforward, doable steps, just right for budding writers!

If you’ve written anything, ever, you’re already a writer—so, congratulations! As many aspiring authors know, though, telling an actual, complete story is
...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published July 14th 2020 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
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Panda Incognito
This great book for kids focuses on how to plot a story, instead of just covering mechanical and stylistic elements of writing. I wish that it had existed when I was younger, but still enjoyed reading it as an adult. The author does a great job of illustrating her points through concrete examples, and does so through hypothetical stories instead of spoiling her own or others published works. This book could have used tighter editing, since some mistakes slipped through (e.g., Wilbur from Charlot ...more
Lorie Barber
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So. Yeah. This’ll be how I teach narrative writing from here until I die.
Thompson McLeod
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you know a young person who wants to be a writer, this book is a MUST HAVE! If I were still teaching creative writing, I would make each student own a copy of this amazing, informative and FUN book about writing. While geared for grades 4-8, anyone who wants to be a writer or learn about writing will love this book. Unlike adult writing books, Dowell's book breaks the art of writing down to where it's understandable and fun. Her captivating sense of humor is echoed in the illustrations by Ebe ...more
Katie Reilley
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author for sharing a copy with #bookexpedition.

This lovely guide is perfect for middle grade readers and writers ~ a “how to” text breaking down the (sometimes) overwhelming task of writing a story! The writing process is outlined in straightforward, actionable steps that will guide its readers through the stages of writing with specific suggestions and reflective questions. Add in some fun illustrations, and this is the perfect book for the middle grade writers in your life!
Jessica Zannini
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. As a former upper elementary school teacher, this would be a fabulous read aloud as students are guided through writer's workshop. I am a librarian now and can see this as a great book for an Author's Club in our elementary school. So many amazing ideas and tips to inspire the writer in all of us! ...more
Steph
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a cool book for young writers looking for tips and encouragement to get writing!
PWRL
Sep 03, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2020-new
SM
Erin
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful, easily accessible guide for budding writers.
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While Frances O'Roark Dowell (Dovey Coe, The Secret Language of Girls, Trouble the Water) is best known for her award-winning novels, she also hosts the popular "Off-Kilter Quilt" podcast, where she talks about her latest quilt projects with friends and fellow quilters around the globe. Her own little corner of the globe is Durham, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and a ...more

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