Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Writing Advice from E. Lockhart/Emily Jenkins

For inside the publishing world Wednesday I am going to review advice Emily Jenkins/ E. Lockhart gave during her keynote address at the Spring WWA SCBWI conference.
Before you get confused, Emily Jenkins and E. Lockhart are the same person. The author uses the name, Emily Jenkins when writing picture books/chapter books. In fact, she is the author of 15 picture books including, Skunkdog and The Little Bit Scary People. Her newest novel, Invisible Inkling was released just last month. Writing as E. Lockhart, she is the author of the YA Ruby Oliver Series and many others.

Now for the advice, Emily says, "If an author sets out to teach morals, the book could get bogged down. A stagnant thing is boring and nobody wants to read it. When I'm writing, I am trying to make a treat, an emotional and mental treat. It must be delicious."

Her advice for writer's block - "Stuck, people sitting around talking crap, then up the action, energize the scene. Find the voice then push it!" She continues with ways to energize your writing. "Break up your sentences with irregular punctuation. Make free with grammar. Play with language."

When starting a book put the conflict front and center. Her example, "Where's daddy going with that ax?" Now that's tension and conflict, wow. Also, make sure conflict is present as you revise. As you rewrite "work and rework at the sentence level." Check out the 1st line and last line of every chapter. Ask yourself, do they pull a reader into the world of the story?

You can visit her online at either or .

And don't forget this week's giveaway for a SIGNED copy of her YA novel, Real Live Boyfriends. To enter click here:


  1. This is some really good advice, working at it from the sentence level and trying looking at first and last lines. Great info. Thanks for posting.

  2. You're welcome Angela, glad you enjoyed it.