Wednesday, 23 December 2015


by  Neha Chollangi

On November 9th 2015, the Mississauga Central Library TAG had the opportunity to bring in author, Megan Crewe, to talk about her writing process.Crewe has published 7 books up to date including two series. She focuses on writing young adult books and plans to continue doing so in the future.

The beauty of writing lies in the fact that it requires no prerequisites. Every writer is different and strange in their own way. Writing stands independent of any external conformities. Anyone looking to start writing can develop their own method and process without any restrictions. However, it is often overwhelming to stare at a blank page with no idea of how or where to start. In efforts to help young aspiring writers, Megan Crewe explains her personal writing process as an inspiration that others can extract from.

1.    Brainstorm Ideas
It is always helpful to do some brainstorming before you start to write. And it’s crucial to jot down ideas that wander in your mind. Inspiration can truly come from anywhere and everywhere. There are millions of potential ideas that can be hidden in shows, movies, books, conversations, etc. For Crewe, a lot of her inspiration comes from other stories. In fact, the idea for her first trilogy, Earth and Sky, came from watching Star Trek.

2.    Research
Once a solid idea for a story is formed, research will play a huge role in making a novel develop more substance. it is easy to write about fictional ideas such a ghosts, or time travel, however, when involving non-fiction elements in the story, research is essential. Researching will also expose you to concepts that can trigger new ideas for the story. When Crewe was researching about viruses for her “Fallen World” trilogy, she read the book “Hot Zone” by Richard Preston, from where she derived several ideas for how to characterize the viruses in her own book.

3.    Create Your Own World
According to Crewe, this is the most fun part of making a story: bringing your imagination to life on a page. It is often helpful to even mash together personal ideas with researched ideas to make interesting and new concepts. When you are forming your world, remember to make the ideas vivid. Crewe travels to see the places she bases her setting on in order to make her story realistic. She claims that “the more realism you have in your story, the more real it is to the readers.”

4.    Make an Outline of the Story
Although many writers prefer being impulsive and write with no previous planning, it is often very helpful to create an organized outline for the plot. Outlines will also help avoid plot holes that may arise while writing. By simply making short jot notes for each plot development you will find that it’s a lot easier to make the story have a smoother flow.

5.    Write Write Write There is nothing scarier than staring at a blank, white page. It may be overwhelming to look at the big picture of writing a whole novel but small steps will get you till the end. First of all, to avoid the dangers of social media, turn off the wifi on the computer during the time you spend writing. Secondly, make goals for each day of either how many words should be written or how many hours should be spent writing. Don’t fret too much over every word and sentence. A rough draft is nothing but rough. Write down everything with no filters. The editing comes later.

6.    Revise and Rewrite
Crewe does an unusual practice in the process of editing her writing. She re-writes the entire novel on a separate word document. She claims that practicing this encourages her to revise every sentence in detail, without missing anything by skimming through. Writing groups are also an essential part of rewriting. The perspective of an outsider will really give you an idea of how readers understand your thoughts. What may be crystal clear to you, could be confusing to others. Constructive feedback is a writer’s best friend.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

TAG Event: March Madness Party Games!

Join us on Thursday, March 19, for an afternoon of party games and prizes!

Everyone ages 12-19 is welcome. Make noise, act silly, win stuff.

Pick up a free ticket in Readers' Den. TAG Members earn volunteer hours and get to boss people around supervise.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

TAG Book Review: Scorched

Scorched, by Mari Mancusi, is a book with amazing adventure and fantasy. The story starts with a teenage girl named Trinity, whose life changes when her grandfather buys a dragon egg, and two twin brothers from the future appear.

The twin brothers, Connor and Caleb, are on different sides. Caleb wants to save the dragon and Connor wants to save the future. Trinity does not know which brother to trust or what the right decision to is.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was entertaining throughout the whole story. Every part of it made me curious, made me want to keep on reading, so I could find out what would happen next. Scorched is definitely worth reading.

-- Written by Shorouk Saker

Monday, 17 November 2014

TAG Book Review: Secret Daughter

Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, explores the power and strength of family relationships.

While growing up in San Francisco, Asha learns that she is adopted and this causes her to ponder about her identity.

Throughout her life, she has always wondered what it would be like to find her birth parents. Asha has many questions about her origin and believes that her birth parents hold the key to her answers.

Her relationship with her adoptive parents is distant because she accuses them of failing to accept her for who she is.

One day, Asha is granted a scholarship to study abroad in India, where her birth parents live. She takes this opportunity to pursue her career but she also searches for her birth parents.

Will Asha finally get the answers she seeks? Secret Daughter is an inspiring story which depicts the emotional rollercoaster that comes with being an adoptive child.

-- Written by Judy C.

Monday, 10 November 2014

TAG Book Review: Shadow of the Wind

I started reading this book while I was alone in an airport with three solid hours of waiting in my possession. Perfect time to start a book. I began reading the first few pages and from that moments alone, I knew I was going to fall madly in love with it.

The writing on its own is magically crafted; it doesn't even have as much as one word out of place. Everything is so perfectly sculpted and aligned, it just mesmerizes you with the poetic flow of it. It is absolutely nothing less than a breathtaking work of art. 

The story takes place in 1945 Barcelona, where a young boy named Daniel Sempere is taken to a hidden place called The Cemetery of Forgotten Books by his father, who tells him that it is a tradition to pick a book out. Daniel finds the book "The Shadow of the Wind" by Julian Carax and find the comfort he needs to deal with the death of his mother in it. When he seeks to find more of Carax' books, he finds out that someone has been going around burning all of them. Daniel might possibly be in possession of one of Carax' only books left. The story follows Daniel on his adventure as he starts to slowly discover Barcelona's deepest secrets.

There was absolutely nothing I didn't love about this book. I felt that everything about it was gold. I found myself constantly taken back to the streets of Barcelona when I wasn't reading. And while I was reading, I was completely in Daniel's world, and couldn't even force myself to put it down. Saying that it was a page turner would be a serious understatement; it honestly was so much more than that. I thought the Zafon did an excellent job with giving as much importance to both the plot and the characters, making the story so much more interesting. This is the type of book I would recommend for anybody. It is a hauntingly beautiful experience: read it.

-- Written by Neha C.