Laura Gehl is the author of One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, which released in September. There are a number of underwear books for kids…
It isn’t easy to tackle tension when writing a story, but keeping these things in mind can point you in the right direction.
What makes a villain a villain? I’ve always been a fascinated—and a little bit terrified—of villains, especially in fairytales. As a child, I couldn’t get enough of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs even if the old witch sent me diving into our couch cushions to hide my eyes.
If I were to write this tale, I’d have to research hauntings, of course, and children who grow up with surrogate parents, and anxiety issues and medications. Assuming I’m comfortable gathering this information, there are few things I’ll look at to see if I have the makings of a YA psychological, suspenseful thriller:
We owe the same kind of hilarious grace to our characters and our young readers. We ask so much of them and it’s only right to give them every emotion in equal measure.
“I should start by saying that world building, where I get to create a fictional reality from the ground up, is one of my favorite parts of writing. It’s the foundation of a good story. Of course, you want a plot that keeps readers turning the pages—and amazing, memorable characters as well, but those characters also deserve a fully realized world to play around in.”