Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Review: Seize the Story by Victoria Hanley

Title: Seize the Story
Author: Victoria Hanley
Publisher: Prufrock Press Inc.
Release Date: January 1st, 2008
Format: Paperback, 228 pages
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon

Do you wish you had a published writer's secrets at your fingertips, ready to help you achieve your goals of publication, success, and the chance to be the next great teen writer? In Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write, Victoria Hanley, award-winning author of young adult fiction, spills the secrets for bringing action, adventure, humor, and drama to stories. All of the elements of fiction, from creating believable dialogue to exciting plots, are laid out clearly and illustrated with examples taken straight from story excerpts by excellent writers. The book is packed with writing exercises designed to encourage teens to tell the stories that are theirs alone.
In addition, other published authors of young adult literature share their insights about the writing life. Teens can gain firsthand advice from accomplished writers T. A. Barron, Joan Bauer, Hilari Bell, Chris Crutcher, David Lubar, Lauren Myracle, Todd Mitchell, Nancy Garden, and many more.

I only have one word to describe this book: AMAZING! 

Seize the story is a handbook for teens who like to write,  for adults who want to write YA books, or for any other person who enjoys writing and wants to improve his/her writing skills. 

At the beginning of the book the author talks about creative writing classes and why sometimes people don't like those classes. She says that people think that Writing Courses or this kind of book can kill the creativity and put everybody to write in the same way and the same topics. But that is not true, and she proved it with this marvelous book. 

Seize the Story is a really easy book to read, warm, sweet, and funny. It gives you a lot of tips to improve your stories, like for example, creating characters, the name of the characters, what to do when you have a writer's block, the difference between Showing and Telling, and the different points of view that you can choose to write your story, and much more. You will have a lot of examples from books that you may know, such as Harry Potter, Twilight, and the Hunger Games, that will help you understand the topics that the author is talking about. 

  At the end of a topic, you will find some exercises that will help you to practice what you learned in the chapter. And don't get me wrong, this book doesn't feel like a math book or a history book with a teacher in front of a classroom. No! It gives you the idea that you're sitting with the author in a warm place, maybe a library, where you will have at hand hundreds of books to look for good examples. And you'll have interviews with different authors who will give you details and their secrets about their writing methods. 

I need to say that I used to write a lot when I was younger, my own stories and my own characters and I was happy with that, to be able to be for one day, the "God" of those worlds that I created. But, I got really busy with high school, with other activities, and that kind of thing, and I stopped writing, and sometimes I miss it; to sit at the computer and to be there, hours and hours creating something unique. But the best thing, is that when I started reading this book, with all those exercises and those tips, I just wanted to sit at the computer and start writing again. I felt that the door which was keeping my imagination-creativity closed, it opened again. And the best thing is that I feel it will help me to understand better the books I read, and it will improve the reviews I write. Highly recommended.

Happy Reading!

Loved it!

Victoria Hanley is an American young adult fantasy novelist. Her first three books, "The Seer And The Sword","The Healer's Keep" and "The Light Of The Oracle" are companion books to one another. She visits schools, and gives writing workshops to teens, as well as adults writing for teens. Her newest book (released August 2009) is called "Violet Wings", published by Egmont USA. She's also published two non-fiction books called "Seize the Story: A Handbook For Teens Who Like To Write", and "Wild Ink: A Grownups Guide To Writing Fiction For Teens". Victoria's fiction books are published around the world in over 19 countries.

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