The most common piece of writing advice is ‘write what you know.’ But what if nothing worthy of a story ever happens to you?
In Writing Radar, Jack Gantos proves that everyone has tale-worthy material in their lives, and it can be gleaned by recording it in a journal. He highlights ways to discover stories, including taking notes on people you know, recording the madcap stories which your family always tells, and jotting down unusual details which catch your attention. This book is funny, engaging, and reads like the stories it’s teaching you to tell. Interspersed are tales from Gantos’s childhood journals, where he dissects which elements make a good story.
Writing Radar is a fantastic book for anyone who wants to write, no matter your genre; it helps people find great ideas and turn them into fabulous stories. But it’s also a perfect book for people who don’t think of themselves as authors—if you want somewhere to start, this book is excellent, just like Spilling Ink. I highly recommend Writing Radar to writers and non-writers ages eight and up, particularly those who don’t know where to find ideas.