You Can Write Children's Booksby Tracey E. Dils
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Writing for children - whether it's in the form of picture books, beginning readers, chapters books and novels, or nonfiction - requires a unique skill set: The ability to speak to children on their level. You Can Write Children's Books, 2nd Edition, provides you with the instruction and exercises you need to shape your ideas, develop your writing, and sell your work!
In this book, you will find:
- updated information on changes in the publishing industry related to children's book writing
- techniques and exercises for writing children's books
- instruction for submitting work online
- an updated look at publishing methods and opportunities (like traditional, online, print on demand, and online promotional opportunities)
- and much more!
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
- F+W Media
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- Barnes & Noble
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Meet the Author
Tracey Dils is the author of more than thirty-five books for young readers in a variety of genrepicture books, scary stories, beginning readers, nonfiction, and biographyand has been awarded the Parents' Choice award as well as the Ohioana Award in Children's Literature. Her books for adults, You Can Write Children's Books and You Can Write Children's Book Workbook from Writer's Digest books, are among the best-selling books on the topic.
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