ON WRITING MIDDLE GRADE

Write the story you need to tell

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Storyteller Daniel R Bernstrom

My name is Dan, and I'm the author of One Day in the Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Tree, and more books soon to come from Harper Collins. This is my personal blog. Feel free to read as much as you want. Take care.

A Letter To Claire Vanderpool Author of Navigating Early

Claire, We met about a year ago at Hamline's July residency, where you came to speak about writing. I stumbled upon you on the lower level of Anderson Center.    We talked about our love for frame stories and how difficult they are to write. You had asked me to...

Lab: On the Death of Your Story

My agent called early. My heart skipped a beat. She had my manuscript. What would she say? She praised the writing, but she could not feel the story. "I couldn't believe your protagonist," she said. My heart fell. It fell all the way through the bottom of my feet to...

This Morning: On Nonhappening Nonfiction Picture Books

Since closing yet another chapter three weeks ago on my middle grade book, I've been poking around in picture book land. I've revised two new picture books, revising another new fiction picture book, and am beginning to address a nonfiction picture book I've locked...

This Morning: On Picture Book Kitchen Construction

Sara,   I was working on a picture book a few days ago and was stuck and had no where to go. I scratched out a few terrible sentences ... and they were really terrible. I wrote sentences I knew wouldn't work, they were like flat cardboard placeholders shaping out...

This Morning: On County Highway Five

I've heard it said that language functions as the road to move the reader through the story, and that punctuation, spelling, and grammar are the road signs that help the reader navigate one’s prose. Who said that a road must be beautiful? It is pavement -- rock, sand,...

This Morning: On Believing When I Cannot See the Light

Why do I spend so many hours writing something that may never be published? Rewriting and deleting thousands of words and days of work? I ask myself many times ... is this hopeless ... shouldn't you do something else ... you should stop annoying Facebook with your...