January 14, 2011

Writing Process - Guest Post by Gwendolyn Heasley

When I first started writing WHERE I BELONG, I wasn’t nearly as well versed as I am now in YA.  I am not sure I could have even told you that there was a category of YA called “contemporary YA.” I can tell you that I have always been drawn to novels that occur in the present day and that I enjoy realistic novels more than any other type of novels.   So for me, it made the most sense to write a realistic present day novel.  For my second novel, however, I am writing a supernatural novel, and I have learned for me genres don’t really matter.  I think characters and voice are the two most important elements of writing.  If you focus on developing those elements and making them memorable, you will succeed as a writer.

As for process, I don’t believe there’s any right way to write. I think that some people need to write everyday and other people don’t.  For me, I don’t write fiction every day.  I take days (and weeks off), but I try to make sure that I spend time reading both fiction and nonfiction. And reading YA and adult. I think writers that don’t read enough put themselves at a disadvantage. So I’d suggest a healthy diet of both writing and reading!  And I am a big believer in podcasts! There are so many amazing podcast that you can download for free! Podcasts have truly been one of my greatest teachers.  They both inform and inspire me. I’d recommend “This American Life” and “This I Believe” if anyone is looking to get into podcasts.


  1. I agree with the most important elements of writing -- characters and voice. They're the base of the plot, the style, and everything. Love this guest post!

  2. Hi Sab, you are the greatest!
    I think your blog is super cute so I am sending you the Stylish Blogger award.
    pass it on!


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