Writer’s Craft

Reflections on a finished draft

Friends, I know it has been a while since I posted some news. I have been intensely focusing all my creative energy on drafting a novel, and today I reached “THE END.” This is a huge deal for me. Sure, I drafted novels before, but that was 10 years ago in my MFA program. With… Read more »

Interview with Open Book

It was such a joy to be interviewed on Open Book about This is the Boat that Ben Built. Here’s a snippet from the introduction: “Today we’re speaking with Jen about This is the Boat That Ben Built as part of our Kids Club interview series. She tells us about where her love for cumulative stories comes… Read more »

Reading like a Writer – Part 3

Here’s another example of reading like a writer. I was reading Quaking by Kathryn Erskine, and I got to a scene where there protagonist, Matt, cowers in the presence of a bully (“the Rat”): The quaking begins. I look down at my notes. World Civilization is trembling in my hands. Do not make eye contact!… Read more »

Reading like a Writer – Long Sentences and Juxtaposition

I am fascinated by the ways in which writers evoke emotion in their readers. I know from my own reading that I am unlikely to be deeply moved by a character who goes on and on about their sad plight, their glorious discovery, the enraging injustice that has befallen them. Or, worse yet, a narrator… Read more »

Reading like a Writer

I’m sure you’ve heard one or both of these before: If you want to be a writer, you need to write. Writers write.* You may even be familiar with what Malcolm Gladwell reported in his book, Outliers: in order to become successful at something you need to clock 10,000 hours doing it. It’s a no-brainer… Read more »