Laurence Yep started writing early in life. His first article was published while he was in High School. His first novel was published when he was in college and he was chosen as a Newberry Honor Book shortly after receiving his PhD. Yep feels his writing is so well received by teenagers because he writes about being an outsider in many of his novels. He also writes about everything. Mundane, ordinary things can grasp a reader if written well and Yep strives to write about all experiences. In a Scholastic interview, he described writing Dragonwings which began with him thinking of a plane flying over a hill.
When writing a novel he first starts with an outline. From there he creates characters and the plot. Yep is never afraid of changing or scrapping drafts if an idea comes about that he feels is better than what he has written. Yep enjoys writing several novels at the same time. If he runs out of ideas for one, he switches to another. Yep is sometimes writing 4 stories at a time and he finds writing in fiction or non fiction, different styles ( diary, historical, fantasy), and even for different age groups helps keep his momentum going, so he never tires of one type of writing. For his children’s books though he does not begin with the moral. Yep wants the reader to realize the moral throughout his writing and discover it by the end. Yep likes to visit libraries wherever he goes as it aids him in his research for his writing. He researches books for a minimum of six months before beginning to write and some books take decades of research. Yep’s advice to young writers is to write what you know about and explore all your senses in your writing. Yep believes that too often writers forget the details of how senses other than vision can connect readers with a piece of writing.