Your Story Matters: A Surprisingly Practical Guide to Writing

Tundra. May 2024. 208p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781770498426.
Gr 3-7–Where do you begin if you want to write a story? Scrimger offers a plan broken into four parts: preparing, modeling, writing, and rewriting. More than that, he provides examples and encouragement with wit and humor that match the cartoons by McFadzean, known for contributions to Mad magazine, The New Yorker, and more. What could be a grind of grammar rules offers surprisingly few, with the suggestion that readers look at almost any published story and make their punctuation look like that. Four types of writing: description, action, dialogue, and insight are discussed. The “Insight” section relates to character motivations. Using a hook to link the conclusion to an earlier part of the story is explained and encouraged. This carefully crafted manual offers exercises and step-by-step tasks to complete a story while being entertaining and encouraging. Significant is the advice to “be careful about telling someone else’s story instead of yours.” Scrimger bases this work on long experience with presentations to classrooms, dedicating it to students who listened.
VERDICT Practical and entertaining, this is a worthy resource for budding story writers.

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