Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

…a very good place to start. For a writer, that beginning must be story. It’s taken me a long time — three years to be exact — to recognize the importance of beginning in just the right place.

Honestly, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. What I did know was narrative proved difficult for me, while reporting — writing magazine articles and nonfiction for the school and library market — came easily.

This interview with Marla Frazee, which my critique partner Julie Rowan-Zoch shared with me, began my awakening. Later, I scribbled down a list of books recommended by Tracy Holczer at SCBWI-CenCal, who said everything she needed to write Secret Hum of a Daisy, she learned with her library card. Then, library card in hand and holidays looming, I started studying.

Here’s my list of books, recommended by Tracy and others, that I found helpful enough to buy so far:

On my “to read” list is ART & FEAR (David Bayles), which argues that while the Mozarts and Michaelangelos exists, most art is made by normal, hardworking artists — artists like us.

Happy reading and happy 2015 everyone!

15 thoughts on “Let’s Start at the Very Beginning”

  1. That’s a great video of Marla reflecting on what it takes.
    Wouldn’t it be incredible to take that class with her?

  2. Great insight. I have been a journalist for 40 yrs, so I can completely identify with the reporting angle. Narrative is coming more easily for me. Good book selections. Wishing you the best in 2015.

  3. Thank you for this list!

    I don’t know if it fits in with what you’re currently studying, but I have found Jordan E. Rosenfeld’s MAKE A SCENE immensely helpful in my novel writing.

  4. Wow…library card in hand (or keyboard keys since I can try to reserve them online from my library), I venture out on this journey you’ve suggested, Kirsten…this is fabulous…thank you so very much for sharing. 🙂

  5. Thanks! I’ve been compiling my list and slowing getting through them. As a NF lover, I appreciate your picks!

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