Local Children’s Author Describes Creative Process
At an author program at C.H. Booth Library on Saturday, August 17, children’s author Dori Marx presented to a group of children examples of her published work, describing in detail the creative approach she uses in writing books that appeal to youths.
About a dozen children attended the event, first learning about Ms Marx’s writing process and later watching videos in which the artists who illustrate Ms Marx’s books describe their creative process in drawing images to complement the texts of the series, which is known as Wonder World Kids.
Ms Marx has written two books, The Mystery of The Dancing Horses and The Case of The Lost Llamas. Her third book, which is slated for publication in September, is The Riddle of The Wild Dogs.
Ms Marx, a native of Austria who now resides in Newtown, told the children that she has enjoyed writing since childhood.
“When I was a child, I wrote stories,” she said.
In Austria, the language is German, she noted, adding that she used cursive writing in telling those tales. “I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote,” she told the children, who sat in a semicircle on the floor.
“I loved animals, and I loved traveling to meet new animals,” Ms Marx said of her fondness for pets and wildlife. As she spoke, Ms Marx projected slides illustrating her comments. One slide depicted the extensive cursive writing that she did in many notebooks.
Ms Marx explained that she writes the books, which are keyed to travel and to animals, and then brings in illustrators from the geographical areas where the books are set to draw images that bolster the text.
The author offered one big tip in terms of the ideas expressed in books: take notes.
“Grab a piece of paper and write it down,” she said, observing that such notes can form the starting point for a story.
To give a story suitable structure, she recommends that the writer create outlines. The writer then can start a first draft, followed by a second draft, and a third draft, as he or she progresses through the storytelling process, she said.
“It’s not that hard to start writing and write 200 pages under that process,” she said.
After a story is written, “You have to go back and edit it,” she said. “You need to make sure your story is correct, consistent, and comprehensible,” she said.
“You can’t edit enough,” Ms Marx stressed.
Ms Marx explained that her books are broken down into a series of relatively brief chapters through which children, age 6 and up, can proceed toward completion of the book. Each book contains a glossary, within which children can find contextual information about the advanced words used in the text. Those words are highlighted by boldface type in the text.