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The Crow’s Heart by Laurie Bell – FAQ

February 15, 2023

Frequently asked questions from my young fans…

“Can you tell me what the next stone is?”

I can’t tell you the next stone, but I do know it and I think you will be excited by it.

“Is the next animal a water animal?”

I can’t tell you, but thanks for asking. 🤪

“How long did it take to write the Crow’s Heart?”

About 6 months to write and another year to edit. I then sent it off to my publisher – Wyvern’s Peak Publishing. I hand write my first draft on the train and my handwriting is very messy so even I can’t always read back what I wrote down.

“What color is the next book?”

Too spoilery, sorry I can’t say. But I promise it will look amazing.

“Does Tracey learn any new magic?”

She sure does!

“Does Uncle Donny ever get any paying clients?”


“How do you write the fight scenes?”

I act them out at home. (Not on the train, haha, though that would be hilarious). It is very funny to watch.

“What is your favorite YA book at the moment?”

Legendborn and Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn

“What is your favorite YA streaming show at the moment?”

At the moment – Lockwood and Co on Netflix. It is based on a book series by Jonathan Stroud.

“What music are you listening to at the moment?”

I love a particular band at the moment that is on constant repeat in my headphones but I can’t tell you because they swear a little bit and I don’t want you to get in trouble with your parents. And also lots of musical theater and show tunes and soundtracks. And Robbie Williams.

“Do you procrastinate?”

ALL THE TIME. I read lots of books, play video games, watch TV shows, listen to music, play on social media… all when I should be writing or editing.

“Do you know how the Stones of Power will end?”

Yep. And no, I’m not telling. Good try though. 🤪

“Do you like editing?”

I do now. I used to hate it, but now I really enjoy fixing what I have written and making it sound better. I print my draft out two pages to a page, double sided, so I can edit them on the train. My pages are covered in handwritten notes and scribbled out lines. Editing should be messy. My beta readers, editors and publisher are amazing and always ask really good questions that make me think of what to clarify and add or remove. I add in extra layers with every draft. I cut out text and add new text and go back to plant clues. My first draft is always mostly dialogue and fight scenes, then I add in movements, actions, location and the weather. Also senses (smells, tastes, textures, sounds). SO, if you are editing… think of adding something about how the character feels about what is happening, add in secrets – secrets are great, weather, and add in all the senses.

“I like writing stories but I can never end them, I just keep writing and writing and writing. How do you end a story?”

Aha! That’s a great question. I only plot my story a little bit before I start writing. I let the character tell me what happens and they take me to the next part and then onto the next. Sometimes, something happens that not even I knew was coming until I wrote it down. But I know I am at the end of the story after the main character has gotten what they want or need (and that is not always the same thing). Or, the end might involve a secret that has been discovered or a big battle is now over and the main character has won or lost (Remember getting what they need does not mean it is something that they want.) Then I do a little wrap up at the end so you know everyone is mostly okay and so you know where they all ended up… Sometimes, I also set up the next book. Cliff hangers are great! But when the big big story is over and I am happy as a writer to put the story down, that’s when I know I have gotten to the end.

“I find it hard to write. My teacher says “write a story” and I just stare blankly at the page and then I get in trouble.”

Oh yes, I have been there. It is hard to write on command. I use a few tricks to get me started and I keep a notebook of ideas that I write down whenever I think of them so I always have something to start with. Hopefully, your teacher gives you a prompt or an idea of what to write about. If you get really stuck, look through your phone for photos that can prompt you with an idea, or think of something funny you saw outside or something your pet or siblings did that made you laugh or made you mad. Maybe something you broke? Or an argument you had? Or a big storm you saw? Or a party you were at and the birthday person didn’t like the present they opened? Think of how those things made you feel, and what you might have said/or done next. You could even think of a story you heard and come up with another ending. Or in your head you might think of a “what if” question. What if the prince didn’t save the princess or what if the hero failed? What if it hailed during the big interschool sports day? What if the pool was empty when you went swimming? What if the dog had muddy paws and came inside the house? “What if” is a great prompt if you get stuck. Write the story as if you were watching a scene in a movie and you’ve come in halfway through.

“My teacher tells me to write only one page! How can I stick to only one page?”

Give yourself a time limit. Break up the page with a line in your head. The intro takes up the first few lines. The action happens in the middle of the page and the wrap up or ending happens in the bottom few lines of the page and try to fit your story into that. Editing is good too. If you write two pages instead of one, cut out words and lines that you don’t need and rewrite sentences to say what you want quicker. Cut out all the “suddenly”s and “just”s or “then”s. Cut out all the “I thought/he thought/she thought/I was thinking” and all the “I was about to/she was about to/he was about to” and “I tried to/she tried to/he tried to”. Try turning your “ing” words into “ed” words like “I was skipping” to “I skipped” and you will find your two pages quickly become one. You can fit more story telling onto that one page then. And of course –  you can always end your story with a cliff hanger! 

Keep writing and keep those questions coming in!

The Crow’s Heart is Book Three of the Stones of Power Series released by Wyvern’s Peak Publishing. It is available now at most online bookstores and the occasional real life bookstore.

  1. Entertaining interview – question and answer session. I have read the first book and it is fantastic you have continued the series.

  2. What a fun interview, and it answered some of my burning questions too 😊.

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