Meet your new instructor, R.L. Stine (you can call him Bob). The legendary kids’ horror author outlines his intentions for the class and encourages you to forget the idea that writing is difficult.
2. The Idea Store
Bob reveals how to stay alert for ideas and shares three great places to find them: experience, memory, and imagination. These are departments in what he calls "the idea store."
3. Other Rich Sources of Ideas
There are so many ways to find inspiration for your story. Here, Bob points to some that might surprise you—television and movies, titles, and topics.
4. Getting From Idea to Plot Outline
Once you have an idea you love, Bob believes you should map out your plot using his preferred method: the outline.
5. Outlining: Surprise Endings and Cliffhangers
Surprise endings and cliffhangers are tried and true methods to get kids to read—and keep them reading. Learn the value of figuring out your ending first and how to write a compelling cliffhanger.
6. Outlining: Plot Twists and Tricks
As you continue to write your outline, Bob reveals what you should include in the middle of your book to keep readers engaged, from twists and surprises to false leads.
7. Outline Case Study
Bob shares two versions of his outline for I Am Slappy’s Evil Twin—the one that was rejected by his editor and the one that was accepted—and breaks down how he strengthened the plot in the outlining phase.
8. Kids Are the Best Audience
Making your books fun and easy to read is the key to hooking young readers. Learn Bob’s strategies for understanding young audiences.
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