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Openings That Will Grab Your Reader

Here are just three of the many ways to open your nonfiction article or book for a juvenile audience:

Anecdotal
The evening is silent except for the rhythm of the cricket's song. Out of nowhere, a giant black glider soars from the darkening clouds toward the ground. There's a slight scratching sound followed by a tiny scream.

The barn owl, the fiercest hunter of the evening sky, has found its victim.

Quotation
"These waters foam pure white. Best keep your wits about you. And be ready to bail when I give the order." Those are the words of advice whitewater guide Jim Clemmons gives his crew before they take off down West Virginia's New River on board a flimsy rubber raft. Jim's crew will soon learn just how flimsy that raft is.

Statistics
The rain forest is home to more different species of plants and animals than any other habitat on earth. But this incredible habitat is dying. Every sixty seconds, an area of the rain forest the size of a football field is being destroyed.

This tip was taken from the course Fundamentals of Writing for Children

Writing for children can be both personally and professionally rewarding. It means returning to a child’s point of view, full of wonder when learning something new and letting your imagination run wild. Bright, curious young readers demand realistic compelling characters and exciting plots just as much – if not more – than their adult counterparts.

This workshop will teach you:

  • Fundamental techniques of writing stories for young readers that can be applied to fiction or nonfiction writing
  • How to create characters children can relate to, including dialogue basics
  • The elements of storytelling, including principles of a strong plot
  • The best way to begin your story, carrying through the middle, and fulfilling the story promise
  • How to find your voice and create your tone
  • The keys to successful rewriting and revision

Learn more about Fundamentals of Writing for Children

The Time Is Now: Securing First-Hand Accounts of History for Writing Projects

The Time Is Now: Securing First-Hand Accounts of History for Writing Projects

Writer Stephen L. Moore discusses the benefits of having first-hand accounts for historical writing and offers advice on best practices in securing interviews while there’s still time.

From Script

Character Exploration and Development in Television (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with writers, showrunners and more who share a common thread of character exploration and development!

Janet Key: On Letting Your Novel Take Shape

Janet Key: On Letting Your Novel Take Shape

Author Janet Key discusses the experience of letting the novel take shape through the editorial process for her debut novel, Twelfth.

Benjamin Myers: On Fleeting Moments Becoming Finished Novels

Benjamin Myers: On Fleeting Moments Becoming Finished Novels

Award-winning author and journalist Benjamin Myers discusses the out-of-body experience of having the idea for his new novel, The Perfect Golden Circle.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: 7 WDU Courses, a Chat With Ran Walker, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce 7 WDU courses, a chat about flash fiction with Ran Walker, and more!

Christopher Stollar | How to Crowdfund Your Book

How to Crowdfund Your Book

Crowdfunding in publishing has received a lot of attention in recent months. Successful crowd-funder and author Chris Stollar shares his tips for realistic and practical tips to make crowdfunding work for you.

12 Dos and Don’ts of Revealing Critical Backstory in a Novel

12 Dos and Don’ts of Revealing Critical Backstory in a Novel

How much backstory is too much backstory, and how do we know when we haven’t given enough? Here, bestselling author Jenna Kernan offers six dos and six don’ts of revealing critical backstory in a novel.

How and Why To Turn Your Play Into a Novel

How and Why To Turn Your Play Into a Novel

Award-winning novelist and playwright Lynne Kaufman discusses the differences, similarities, and benefits of turning your play into a novel.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Thinking There’s Not Enough Room for Your Story

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Thinking There’s Not Enough Room for Your Story

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's mistake is thinking there's not enough room for your story.