Our Turn: Northwoods author shares wisdom with student writers
By Jamie Halbman
11th Grade, NCSS
A couple of weeks ago, the students of RHS and NCSS had the unique opportunity to speak with Northwoods author, Sandra Kring. She’s currently on tour promoting her new book, Running for Water and Sky. Ms. Kring came to RHS to talk about her life before and after becoming an author, as well as to give advice to aspiring student writers on some of their personal writing pieces.
Ms. Kring started the conversation talking about her own experiences while in high school. She went on to tell us that she wasn’t interested in the curriculum, partially due to a home life that…wasn’t ideal for keeping one’s sense of self-worth, you could say. School was something she just got through. It was only after high school that her interest in writing bloomed. It was at that point that she wrote and published her first book, Carry Me Home. She said the characters were developed and written well, but the plot, not so much. Regardless, it laid the groundwork for her next book, The Book of Bright Ideas, a story about two little girls and their own book of bright ideas about life. Publishing her second book opened new doors for her, connecting her with other authors, and finding a career that she “loved everything about.”
The second half of our discussion was focused students reading bits from their own writing pieces, while receiving critiques from Ms. Kring. The main point she made to us was “show, not tell” when describing the characters and what they’re doing. Instead of something like plainly stating, ‘they tried to calm down,’ find a way to show what they did to calm down. She also suggested reading memoirs for character inspiration, as you can’t get much better ideas on how to write a realistic character than from real people! I personally didn’t have a chance to read from my piece, but the tips Ms. Kring shared with us will surely be helpful in all of our writing endeavors; and perhaps to those reading this article as well!