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You Can Write Children's Books
If you've always enjoyed telling children stories, this book will guide you through the first steps–from writing them down to submitting them with confidence. From inspiration to publication, Tracey Dils shows you how to write the very best children's books and offers important tips for getting published.
"You Can Write Children's Books is a top-quality introduction to the nuts and bolts of writing for young people. Portions of the book are so lucid and helpful that I found myself wishing I'd written them myself! Well done, Tracey Dils!"
-Eric D. Suben, former editor-in-chief, Golden Books
1. What You Need to Know to Get Started; 2. Picture Books; 3. Beginning Readers, Chapter Books and Novels; 4. Nonfiction; 5. Look Like a Pro; 6. Find the Right Publisher for Your Book; 7. Give Your Manuscript a Fighting Chance; 8. Breaking Into Print; and Appendix.
Chapter One, "What You Need to Know to Get Started," discusses the motives for becoming a children's writers (including a quiz—"Is Writing for Children For You," as well as the "Misconceptions About Writing for Children." Particularly helpful, in my opinion, is the full-page side bar "How to Keep Up," which suggests methods to keep aware of what's going on in the business and outlines possible resources. As with all following chapters, this one includes "Tips from the Top" and "Inspiration Exercises."
My favourite chapter "Picture Books," touches upon "The Market and Audience," and goes into detail about "Form and Length" and "Types of Picture Books," "How to Make a Picture Book Dummy," "Subject Matter,"Plotting," and "What Editors Are Not Looking For," among other necessary topics. Particularly helpful is the self-critique side bar: "When you are finished with your dummy, review it thinking about these considerations:
* Is there enough action to illustrate the thread you've chosen?
*Is there too much action to illustrate? [With some exceptions, you'll want to introduce one basic action or image per page or two-page spread].
*Is there a variety of scenes or different actions of interest throughout the book?
*Does every page move the story forward, both in terms of the plot and in terms of the visual action?
*Will you story flow well with the art you envision?"
These are just a few of the items suggested by Dil for revision.
Likewise, Dils leads the aspiring children's writer through the many remaining chapters of the book, feeding him/her information on setting, plot, characters, dialogue, conflict, story (beginning, middle, ends), as well as vocabulary/readabilty, nonfiction vs. fiction, fascinating tidbits, statistics, formats and even "great examples to guide your writing," i.e., children's books that should not be missed.
The basics are all here, defined and illustrated in this book, and presented in an easily understandable and readily applicable way. You Can Write Children's Books allows writers of all levels and experience to get something from it, whether it be reinforcement, motivation, or inspiration.
Lynne Remick, Reviewer UnderCoverReader@aol.com
|1||What You Need to Know to Get Started||1|
|3||Beginning Readers, Chapter Books and Novels||30|
|5||Look Like a Pro||56|
|6||Find the Right Publisher for Your Book||72|
|7||Give Your Manuscript a Fighting Chance||82|
|8||Breaking into Print||100|
Posted October 11, 2001
There is confusion here on the difference between an 'adjective' and an adverb. Examples given are adverbs and, since this is an instructional work, this should be corrected. Otherwise, the book has some general information easily found online. No revelations here.
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