SAMANTHA VAN LEER is a sophomore at Vassar College majoring in psychology with a minor in human development. She cowrote the #1 New York Times bestseller Between the Lines, with her mother, Jodi Picoult. Their latest novel, Off the Page, comes out on May 19th.

Check out Samantha’s top tips for aspiring writers.

97805535355631. READ READ READ. It will help you figure out where your kind of writing fits into the whole wide scope of books that already exist.
2. CARVE OUT TIME TO WRITE. During that time, do not check Snapchat or text your friends or let anything else distract you. If you don’t give yourself dedicated time to create, you won’t. It’s that simple. It doesn’t have to be long – a half hour each day is a start — but it has to be consistent and it has to be uninterrupted.
3. TAKE A WRITING WORKSHOP COURSE — These are offered online, or in schools, or at writing programs targeted for teens. Taking a workshop will teach you two things: to write on demand, and to learn to give and get criticism. Those are the two most important tools in a writer’s arsenal!

Prince Oliver, the main character of my latest novel, has come to life and he’s made his own YouTube channel! Check out this video he made to introduce himself. And don’t forget to subscribe to his channel to get the latest news and updates about the prince.

5 thoughts on “Writing Tips by SAMANTHA VAN LEER

  1. How do you avoid getting discouraged in writing? If it’s taking awhile or you reread it and don’t like it how do you keep going?

    • Change it up, fix it and make it likable. It may take a while to get it just right, but if you try you can make it perfect. No matter how much you hate one of your books don’t delete it, keep it and save it for another moment in time, just make sure to look over it every day and see if there is anything you can add. If you need to take out a line or two that’s fine, it happens, but NEVER delete a book. You don’t have to always keep going, usually, people get writer’s block by thinking too hard, you don’t necessarily have to think when writing. You do have to think but once you get an idea into your head you should be able to write three or four paragraphs on that one thought. Also, it will help a lot and be so much better if you PLAN THE WHOLE book before writing, don’t immediately try to write the story, it won’t come as naturally without a plan. For every story, there is a rising action, a falling action, a climax, a problem, a solution, and the end. I would add as many details as you possibly can in the plan, the more details the easier it is to write the story. I know you weren’t asking me but I thought this may be helpful. If you have any more questions that you may need to be answered my figment name is River Blake and I’m always open for answering questions!

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