Interested in writing for children? Don’t miss this great post on literary agent Jill Corcoran’s blog. While you’re there, check out other useful information for writers. I have heard her speak at conferences. Writers who have her as an agent are very lucky. She is warm, honest, and experienced.
Even if you have not signed up for Julie Hedlund’s fantastic 12 x 12 (Twelve picture book manuscripts in twelve months) program, you can benefit from her line-up of featured authors, editors, and agents. First up this year, author and consultant Emma Walton Hamilton offers a super mini-course in picture book construction. If you have a manuscript, or just an idea, take a few minutes to read it. You won’t be sorry.
Here’s another in a terrific series of posts summarizing basic plots on The Write Practice blog. For a quick review of the bottom line of storytelling, take an hour or so and review the basic plots covered on the site. It may save you years of learning the hard way.
The vogage and return is a very common storytelling structure. It fits classic epic poems as well as children’s fiction. In my case, both this month’s picture book for Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 book and a MG fantasy novel in progress for 5 years and counting follow this format.
About main characters. Screenwriters know about story structure. It is a good idea to listen to them about this. Of course, there are always exceptions, but if you think your book has more than one main character, this post is worth reading.
From an editor, here’s a well-thought-out post on the pros and cons of prologues from a contemporary point of view. It starts with the pros. which, if you have used one, you already know. Keep reading. You may need yours, but you do need to know why they are less common in contemporary fiction than in works written 30, 40, 0r 50 years ago.