Comics editor Françoise Mouly has worked for her entire career to combine visual literacy with enjoyable narratives. From her work as the Art Director of The New Yorker to collaborating with Art Spiegelman and other professional cartoonists, Mouly has gained…
I always groan when people ask about my writing process, because what they are really asking is the more complicated question, “How does your mind work?” Even the word “process” confounds me. It implies a tidy, shrink-wrapped procedure. I wish it was that way–a specific set of steps to get me from that awful first draft to a polished manuscript, which is often thirty rewrites down the line. For me, writing isn’t precise. It is a messy evolution.
Author Robie Harris and illustrator Michael Emberley have worked closely together to create nearly a dozen age-appropriate books for children and teens on human development and sexuality, including It’s So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families (Candlewick, 1999)and It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health (Candlewick, 1994). For Harris and Emberley, the entire research process is of the utmost importance when it comes to creating accurate informational books. From finding the right resources to portraying information in word and illustration, these two have insights to share about the inquiry process.
One of the questions I’m often asked by students—sometimes with tremulous voices—is about the dreaded “writer's block." It's as if they're asking about the flu or the boogey man. “Do I ever get it?” “Does it ever get me?”
Nikki Grimes is an author of fiction and poetry who has received five Coretta Scott King Book Award recognitions. In this column she discusses her writing process. Whether it’s her focus on character development, the story behind Bronx Masquerade (Penguin, 2001), or her personal experiences that influence her research and writing, Grimes’s insights reveal the dialectical nature of writing.
When I was kid I used to make movies in my head. Many of them were vaguely Arthurian in tone, with a dash of Tolkien reconfigured with strong female characters who liked to read. I tried putting myself in the lead role – warrior princess or pirate queen, say, but not that often. I am, at heart, a profoundly shy person, and even an imaginary spotlight was uncomfortable.