You only have a few paragraphs to capture a reader, whether a buyer on a site or in a bookstore, or a publishing professional. In this great post from Kathy Temean, agent Sean McCarthy critiques first page submissions from three different children’s book authors.
I haven’t had any picture books published yet, but I am working on it. The market is very competitive right now, but not as closed as it was a couple of years ago. Armed with hints and information from–count’em–four writer’s conferences this year, I am ready to hit the track running.
If you would like to join me and other writers for children across the land, click on the link below and find out about Picture Book Idea Month.
I am working on a middle grade novel. If you don’t write books for children, you might think that means a novel that isn’t as good as a top-grade novel. Actually, it means a book for young people in grades 4-6. The protagonist is usually 12, since eight-year-olds love reading about older kids, but few older children like to read about children who are younger.
It is an honor to write for kids this age. They have more time to read than they will at any other time in their lives. They also fall in love with characters and want to follow them through all of their adventures. The first Harry Potter book was a middle grade novel. So was Charlotte’s Web. Books for kids this age often concern one of the things I find most wonderful in life–friendship. They are also about justice.
The link below leads to a great blog just for writers of middle grade fiction.
Click on the link above to learn how important it is to begin your book in the middle of the present moment rather than with a flashback, background, or “thoughts.” Mary Kole works with writers of works for children, but the principle applies to all contemporary fiction. You don’t have long to draw your reader into the story.
Many of us are thinking about novels right now because next month is NaNoWriMo, the annual crazy time when people everywhere try to write 50,000 words in one month.
For those who want to submit their masterpieces and wonder about word counts in the publishing biz, here’s a quick run-down. Of course, there are always exceptions, but they are exceptions.
If you do not know about Query Tracker, it’s worth checking out. One bonus is their terrific email newsletter. This article is about a tricky but vital step in constructing a story–selecting the main character. It has happened to me, I know. A story that starts out one way turns another. This is well worth a read.