The honest, everyday struggles of Judy Blume’s characters resonate with millions of readers. Now, she’s your instructor. Judy invites you to discover your own process by hearing what worked for her.
Judy was an anxious kid and used stories she invented as companions and a creative outlet. Hear her talk about the early beginnings of her rich imagination.
Judy believes the most powerful stories come from within, yet writers need to be highly attuned to the world around them. She shares her process for identifying and developing strong ideas.
Judy discusses the highly personal calculation every writer will make about whether to raid their own lives for material. She also talks about the importance of letting ideas percolate before committing them to paper.
Judy shares the inspiration behind some of her most iconic and enduring books and characters: Margaret, Fudge, and Blubber.
Learn how to tap into the childhood version of yourself to authentically relate to younger readers. Kids have big questions and want their lives reflected in the books they read.
Give kids credit—they understand more than you think. Judy explains that authors should never write as adults talking to children.
Judy deconstructs how she researched her sprawling novel, which she based on series of unbelievable-yet-true events that happened in her hometown when she was a teenager.
Judy calls her notebooks her security blankets. Take a peek inside them to see how she bridged information with imagination to fictionalize a story she personally experienced.
Compelling and layered characters drive stories forward and keep readers wanting to turn the page. But before that happens, writers need to get to know their characters as if they were real people.
Judy encourages you to explore voice and point of view until you land on a storytelling style that fits your characters. That style should reflect all the details that contribute to a character’s experience and journey.
Realistic dialogue elevates and sharpens your characters. Judy shares her love of writing dialogue and her ideas for troubleshooting if you don’t love it as much as she does.
What characters say to each other has the power to reveal. And sometimes, what they don’t say reveals even more.
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of writing an entire book. Judy wants to help you tackle a book scene by scene, beginning with how to find your starting point.
Judy discusses how settings can act as secondary characters and how to give your book the ending it deserves.
For Judy, early drafts require leaning on her notebooks as well as “letting the mess come out” and looking at potential problems later.
In later drafts, Judy goes deeper into character to propel a story forward. She also shares her feelings about what to do if writer’s block appears.
Judy shares what she always does before submitting a manuscript. She also teaches you how to write a killer query letter to find an agent.
A young editor discovered Judy in the slush pile and changed her work—and life—forever. Judy shares how she approached working with editors to arrive at the best possible version of her work.
Rejection is a fact of life if you want to be a writer. Learn how Judy overcame her doubts when the letters piled up—and how she used rejection to fuel her determination.
Writers should understand the power that cover art and titles can have on perception and sales. Judy shares lessons from the trenches, as well as her view on the importance of keeping a clear sense of your own identity within an ever-changing market.
Judy remains one of the most banned authors in the country, with books that are still challenged by censors. She shares her hard-earned belief that writers need to remain true to themselves and the truth of their stories.
Judy started writing because she was desperate for a creative outlet. She shares how her desire to feel normal led her to create enduring emotional connections with readers who wanted to feel the same way.
When you finish this MasterClass and begin your next project, Judy urges you to foster the most powerful force in your writing life: your own imagination. As she says, “No one can have too much imagination—let alone a writer.”