Friday, September 04, 2009

Sarah Anne Sumpolec: Writing Advice

Back in May I spoke in schools and to a teen writing class in the HS. I asked some authors questions to answer for those children and teens,giving advice to the young writers' own work. It turned out to be good advice for any age writer. :)

So, in the next few posts, I'm going to share what they said, starting with Sarah Anne Sumpolec.

Sarah Anne Sumpolec, author of teen books:

Young writers, I think, should focus on lots of reading. And not just reading things they naturally like. But trying out a wide variety of books. And along with that reading, learning to analyze a story. When you finish a book, ask yourself things like:

Why did I like (or not like) this book?
What did I know about the main character?
How did the main characters change over the course of the story?
What kept my interest the most? (The people? The story?) Why?
Young writers should also do lots of writing. Practice! Practice! Practice! You'll never get too much practice! If any of them are like me, they may start lots of different projects, but never actually finish them. So completing a project - writing the entire story from start to finish, is a valuable habit to get into. You don't have to finish every story, but you should finish some of them:-)

What have you used from your growing up years in your writing?Interestingly, I have found that I pull from much of my growing up years and use that in my writing. I was in drama throughout school so sometimes my characters are involved with a play production, or I simply use my background in acting to help me develop my characters. I also valued education, so you won't find my characters not caring about school.

Writing is an extension of who we are, so the more well-rounded we are (and willing to try out lots of different things), then the more well-rounded our writing will be.

~Sarah Sumpolec

The Masquerade ( Becoming Beka Book 1 )
This first book in the Becoming Beka series introduces you to sixteeen-year-old Beka Madison. She's lost her mom, she's confused about guys and has a secret that she doesn't want to tell anyone. It's enough to make a girl feel crazy. But it's when her dad starts thinking she's lost her mind that things start to really fall apart.

Be sure to check her web site for the rest of the series and other resources, like her online story, Totally Unfamous.


LeAnne Benfield Martin said...

Great advice, Sarah! I'm going to pass it on to my young writer.

Thanks, Crystal, for making this available.


Sharon Brani said...

Great tips, Sarah. I've made note of your words. Very timely. Thanks Crystal.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah Anne -

Your analytical questions gave me ideas for evaluating my own manuscript. Thank you.

Crystal - thanks for inviting Sarah Anne to do a guest post.

Susan :)