What is a first draft? What is a narrative? In S is for Story: A Writer's Alphabet, author and writing coach Esther Hershenhorn uses the alphabet to help explain, explore, and examine the tools, techniques, and strategies for those hoping to live the literary life. Writing terms and topics are explained using a two-tier format. C is for the Character, every story's star, the one for whom we cheer, we care, with whom we travel far. Specific genres, story elements (setting and plot), and the mechanics of how to ...
What is a first draft? What is a narrative? In S is for Story: A Writer's Alphabet, author and writing coach Esther Hershenhorn uses the alphabet to help explain, explore, and examine the tools, techniques, and strategies for those hoping to live the literary life. Writing terms and topics are explained using a two-tier format. C is for the Character, every story's star, the one for whom we cheer, we care, with whom we travel far. Specific genres, story elements (setting and plot), and the mechanics of how to write (including editing and revision) are covered, while quotes from famous authors provide examples of the writer's thought process. Budding writers of all ages will be inspired to put pen to paper (or fingers on keyboards)! Author, and writing coach, Esther Hershenhorn admits S is for Story is the book she wishes she'd owned as a little girl, dreaming of a writing career. She lives in Chicago, where she teaches Writing for Children at the University of Chicago's Writer's Studio and the Newberry Library. Zachary Pullen's character-oriented picture book illustrations have won awards and garnered starred reviews. He has been honored several times with acceptance into the prestigious Society of Illustrators' juried shows and Communication Arts Illustration Annual of the best in current illustration. Zak lives in Wyoming.
A through Z … this is the perfect writer's alphabet book for young writers. "D is for the drafts we write" … it is the beginning, where the story just spills from inside. "E is for the page we edit" … copiously looking at what was written, and then checking for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. This is also the time for checking the integrity of the characters and their dialogue. "I" covers ideas … writers have lots of those, and they come from everywhere. When at a loss for ideas, brainstorming can be very helpful … and carrying a handy writer's notebook is helpful. Writers from the past and those in the present have found the "J" for journaling to be a powerful tool to their writing life. Under "K" is where the four common styles of writing are found … "descriptive, persuasive, narrative, and expository." From the importance of plot and the six questions to ask while writing to revision and voice, this alphabet book is full of fascinating details and helpful information to inspire young writers. Included in the book are writer's tips and quotes from published writers. Some of the published writers include Andrew Clements, Katherine Paterson, G. K. Chesterton, Brian Jacques, Jacqueline Woodson, P. L. Travers, and Kate DiCamillo. At the end of the book, the author includes a potpourri of information that is sure to serve as further motivation for young writers. The illustrations, described as "character-oriented," add to the text; the illustrations are detailed, colorful, larger-than life, yet, child friendly, and grabbing. Between the letters "D" and "E", a reader will find a warm close-up of Abraham Lincoln. This is an excellent book for any library: home, public, orschool. Let us develop this young generation of writers … and give each one of them a copy of this book! Reviewer: Debby Willett
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—From "A is for the Alphabet" to "T stands for Tall Tales," to "Z? It's for masked Zorro./His Z-signed tales brought fame," Hershenhorn describes the different parts of the writing process, styles, genres, and strategies. Illustrations take up most of the pages while the text is on the sides. Most pages have a quote from a children's author, such as Linda Sue Park, Lois Lowry, and Kathleen Krull, who talk about their work. The poems for each letter are well written, and the book includes several writing tips for readers. Pullen's illustrations enhance Hershenhorn's text and bring the writing process alive. The only downside of this book is that the text is in extremely small print, which is likely to turn off most young readers, and it tends to ramble on and on.—Katie Cerasale-Messina, AC Whelan Elementary School, Revere, MA