comment 0

Judy Blume the Best-Selling Author for Books for Younger Readers Shares Her Writing Tips (Part 2)

Judy Blume won more than 90 literary awards and has been the best-selling author for books for younger readers. Her best- known works include: “Are You There, God?”. “It’s Me, Margaret”, “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing”, “Deenie”, and “Blubber”.

1. Judy believes that a story should start on the day when something unexpected and different happens in the character’s life.

2. Judy doesn’t imagine the entire plot but instead writes each scene. Every scene should accomplish something. Don’t forget to leave enough room for surprises the plot can relieve.

3. You should always care what happens to your characters.

4. Use your character’s backstory to create obstacles for them to overcome.

5. Flashbacks and backstory will help you discover your character and allow you, and the readers, to get to know them.

6. Use specific details to make your story more real for your readers.

7. For Judy, writing the first draft means getting everything down. Leave editing for later.

8. During the first draft, don’t edit yourself or be too critical of your choices.

9. If you find the middle part hard to write, go back to your notebooks to see if you can find some ideas to what could happen to your characters.

10. The second draft will help you start shaping the story. It is also a good time to decide what age group you are writing for and what kind of story you want to tell your audience. The second draft should help you go deeper into your characters.

11. While rereading your manuscript, start identifying what isn’t working in your story. If there is something not working, you’ll need to devote more time to fix that part.

12. Falling in love with your story will make it see objectively tricky.

13. Reading your text aloud will train your ear to edit and fine-tune your writing.

14. Judy advises writers to take themselves and their writing seriously and make time for writing.

15. Judy doesn’t believe in writer’s block; she suggests that when you hit an obstacle and can’t write, either go and write something else, go back to your notebook, or get away from your desk.

16. While trying to capture an agent’s attention, make sure you present your absolute strongest work.

17. In your query letter include a pitch, sample personalisation for an agent you are targeting, short bio paragraph and all the other logistical information on your novel. Always keep it brief and make it unique to you.

18. Stay receptive to feedback from an editor. Of course, you don’t have to rewrite your story for everyone, who has a different opinion about your work, but they might have some good ideas you can utilise.

19. Judy tends to take her editors suggestions and test if they work or not. She treats this as an exercise that sometimes can help her figure out what is working and what isn’t for that story.

20. If your editor sees that you are open to taking suggestions, they may be more invested in helping you to write your book. However, always make sure that the changes aren’t too drastic.

21. Judy says that one review shouldn’t stop you from doing what you love doing. You have to remember that the editors, agents and reviewers are just people, who have their bad days like everyone else.

22. Sometimes a negative review can help you revise your story.

23. Use positive mentions and feedbacks as a fuel to keep your going.

24. Fear will always keep you from achieving your dreams. Don’t let fear tell you what you can and can’t do.

25. Don’t write to trends, since by the time you publish, the trend will most likely be already over and that will only limit your writing potentials.

26. Keep observing and cultivating your ideas and stay determined as a writer.

Filed under: writers, Writing, writing tips

About the Author

Posted by

Magda Olchawska is an award-winning independent filmmaker, writer and screenwriter. She writes not only about making films and writing but also about financially independent and sustainable lifestyle. Her current projects include Ecotopia Universe and School Runs.

Leave a Reply