Author Archives: Chuck Mall

About Chuck Mall

Author of middle-grade fiction. Mizzou grad. Former writer for men's fitness magazines. Book "The Owl Motel: And Other Places Where You Are Not Welcome" available on Amazon. Avid cook and gardener.

Middle-Grade Book Know-How

Write Well, Learn the Genre, and Learn Advanced Techniques I can’t tell whether I’m writing a middle-grade book, a chapter book, or a YA. Have you ever thought about this? I’ve heard it at writers conferences and critique groups for … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, writing, writing for children, YA fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Transforming Fear into Fiction

How to use these strange times to propel your words Never have we seen such widespread fear in our society. Yet we were warned. Scientists have predicted a major pandemic. We all coasted along, visiting the world easily, indulging ourselves, … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, Words, writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rolling with Middle Grade Reading

Three “teaching” middle-grade books for writers After my last post I got emails and texts, asking me to talk about more middle-grade books I’ve read recently. So here are capsules of a few more. I don’t always read books in … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, Librarians, Library, writing, writing for children | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Middle-Grader Road Grading

Why are middle-grade books my chosen writing genre? I’ve written middle-grade and young-adult fiction, and picture books (which I’ve tried to write; but can’t do it well). Somehow middle-grade plots, characters, and ideas are what populate my mind.  Perhaps it’s … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, writing for children | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Useful Cage

How the Storytelling Format Can Limit a Fictional Narrative Strategically As a writer who has created almost all of his fiction in third person limited, using a standard narrative format, I’m always exploring how established novelists use or misuse format … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, Librarians, writing for children | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love, a Dream, and a Theft

My Secret Relationship with Ursula K. Le Guin’s Mother by Chuck Mallory To understand, you need to know I grew up in a very small town in the 1960s. My mother was able to put me in first grade at … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, Librarians, Library, Ursula K. Le Guin, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Laurapalooza

(Simultaneously published on Medium.com/chuckmall) “Half-Pint” is Gaining a Jesus-like Iconography Laura Ingalls Wilder and a Hmong woman on a mural in Walnut Creek MN. Did this ever happen? Doesn’t matter. Just believe.   The first thing that stands out from all … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Fiction | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Time to Prove Ourselves

A young journalist’s insight on Gamergate when it occurred in 2014. Continue reading

Posted in videogames | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Your Own Writing Spooks You

Clean the basement. That’s how you find pieces of writing you never remember writing. I found one, and am going to throw it away. It isn’t bad as much as it is strange. In 2008 I took a stream-of-consciousness writing … Continue reading

Posted in Words | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Cracked Open

You can see I haven’t been the most regular blogger here. But I had a reason for pausing lately. On October 22, 2015, my 22-year-old son was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Seven months later he passed away, after fighting hard … Continue reading

Posted in Grief | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment