Jan 31

5 Ways to Make a Children’s Book Memorable

Children’s books are powerful.

Remember your favorite book from childhood? The one you read over and over. The one you loved?

It’s every writer’s dream, to create a book that stands the test of time … a timeless classic.

Every author wants to craft a story that appeals to thousands, and goes on and on and on to bring joy, wonder, and comfort.

Books like:

• Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
• Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon
• E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web

These books are classics and contain magical ingredients that stand the test of time.

So what are the magical ingredients?

Tip #1. Immerse the reader in the story.

Create a totally immersive reader experience.

Award-winning author of children’s books Grumbler, Joyride, and Pling’s Party, Arielle Haughee is the owner of Orange Blossom Publishing, an editor, speaker, consultant, and Executive Vice President for the Florida Writers Association and this is what she recommends:

“Make sure each element blends together to make the story come alive for children in a magical way. Matching the physical elements of the book to the character and theme of your story creates excellent immersion for the reader.

“If you ensure everything on the inside and outside of the book is the best quality and shares a lasting message you will have a timeless children’s book.”

TIP #2. Get to the reader’s heart.

You’ve got to create an emotional connection. It you can reach the reader’s heart, you’ve made a forever connection.

Laura Backes is a Random House published author, editor, agent, educator, and the publisher of Children’s Book Insider, Children’s Writing Monthly, and co-founder of WritingBlueprints.com.

In the know, Backes gives her advice…

“Emotional connection. Create it with relatable and honestly crafted characters who participate in a story built upon universal emotions of childhood. Combine these with vivid settings, well-flowing dialogue and a warm author voice and you have the recipe for a classic.”

TIP #3. The protagonist has to be unforgettable.

Author Brooke Van Sickle has won multiple awards for her children’s books including the Moonbeam Children’s Award, the Royal & Purple Dragonfly Awards, and Mom’s Choice for honoring excellence in children’s books.

She says…

Write a children’s book with a unique character. This is the key to creating a timeless book. With a great character, it doesn’t matter if you have a common plot because a compelling character will take the reader on a completely unique journey through new eyes. (Think: Harry Potter, The Cat in the Hat, The Little Engine That Could, etc.)”

TIP #4. Get to what kids really care about.

Middle Grade publisher and senior editor at Chicken Scratch Books, Kiri Jorgensen is also a writer, teacher, entrepreneur, wife and mother.

She adds to the advice…

“In the world of middle grade novels, a timeless story is characterized by connection. If a young reader devours a book while hiding under their covers with a flashlight, a connection has been made. If a young reader gasps, and pauses, and holds the book next to their heart for a moment before continuing, a connection has been made. If a young reader wakes up in the morning, worrying about the main character, a connection has been made.”

TIP #5. Choose a universal theme

You want to go with a theme that will stand the test of time.

Former literary agent and university professor Mira Reisberg is an award-winning author/illustrator, the acquiring editor and art director at Clearfork Publishing/Spork, and the founder of the Children’s Book Academy, an international children’s book writing and illustrating school.

She explains…

“Relatability is another word for the underlying themes that relate to children’s lived experiences and curiosities according to their age level. By unearthing what the real themes below your story are about, you get to see if your story has universal underlying themes that will stand the test of time.

Balance emotion and action so it’s not all emotion or all action. Action or movement keeps your story lively to avoid boredom and emotion keeps us engaged on a heart level.”

These are the five tips to a timeless story.

But how do you actually write it?

KidLit Creators Super Stack has everything you need to write, illustrate, publish and perfect your timeless children’s book.

This bundle is a hand curated collection of over $2,300+ worth of premium writing, publishing, marketing, and illustrating resources, training, and tools for just $49. And, it expires February 2nd.

It’s your ultimate A to Z resource to transform you kid’s story idea into a published book both kids and parents will love.

I’m an affiliate for the bundle because I think it a tremendous value that will help every writer. And, I’m also a participant. My book, How to Write a Children’s Fiction Book, is included in the bundle!

Check it out: KidLit Creators Super Stack.

Jan 26

The Perfect Resources for Every Author

The title should be The Perfect Resources for Every Author … And Wanna Be Author. But, having your title too long isn’t a good idea.

I’m sidetracking though.

Carl Sagan said, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”

If you’re an author, no doubt you strive to write a memorable book. A book that will transport your reader to other places and other worlds.

You want to write a children’s story that will spark a child’s imagination. One that will bring kids on fantastic journeys, and on amazing adventures.

You want to write a book that will make kids think.

That’s the power of a good kid’s book.

The impact can be far reaching:

“When I closed the last page, I hugged it to my chest and thought how wonderful it would be to grow up and have a job where I got to make up new worlds for a living. And now I do.”
• Children’s author R.L Lafevers – Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist series

And long lasting:

“It wasn’t until years later when I flipped through the pages of my old copy of The Secret Garden that I understood. This book is connected in so many ways to the life choices I’ve made.”
• Poet, author, and WIRED magazine writer – Laura Grace Weldon

Children’s books are powerful.

But to get started writing a children’s book, to learn the writing ropes, to move forward, most of us need help.

Well, The KidLit Creators Super Stack can help, and I’m excited to share this amazing opportunity with you today.

Whether you’re at the idea stage, ready to begin planning your story…

…or you’re an established author who wants to explore new KidLit genres…

…or you’re in the middle of a draft or have a full draft but know it needs a lot of help…

This bundle has you covered.

The KidLit Creators Super Stack is a hand curated collection of over $2,300+ worth of premium writing, publishing, marketing, and illustrating resources, training, and tools for just $49 expires February 2nd.

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KidLit Creators has everything you need to write, illustrate, publish and perfect your timeless children’s book.

Whether you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to take you from idea to published masterpiece…

…or you’re looking for ways to expand your reach and grow your royalties as an author in 2021…

There’s a tremendous amount of super-helpful content packed into this collection.

And my book, How to Write a Children’s Fiction Book, is among the bounty!

Check it out. Of all the resources in it, there’s got to be a number of tools that will help you move your story along.

This offer starts today but expires on Tuesday, February 2nd at 11:59pm EST. After that, it’s gone. Forever.

Check it out now before you forget and it’s gone.

Some of the titles in this bundle include:

How to Write a Children’s Fiction Book
How to Publish a Children’s Book Blueprint
Writing Picture Books 101 (Mini Course)
Children’s Book Illustration
Content Marketing for Children’s Authors

GET YOUR BUNDLE TODAY!

Jan 17

Children’s Ghostwriting and Momentum

When writing a children’s story, or any story for that matter, there’s a certain momentum you get into. A work flow or groove.

You become absorbed in your writing.

There are times when the story just flows and you up your pace. Then other times you need to work a little harder and the work pace may slow down.

But you can go at your own pace. You’re in control.

As a ghostwriter, though, you can’t always go at your own pace. I’ve had a few clients who took long pauses in their projects.

Interestingly, all of these projects had nothing to do with payments because in each case the projects were up to date.

It seems that client pauses can happen for various reasons: sickness, life, or work.

No matter what the reasons, when a client takes a long pause, it can create at least two problems for the children’s ghostwriter.

  1. As the writer, you lose your momentum.

Mentioned above, when your momentum is interrupted, you lose it. The rhythm, the flow is gone.

And depending on how long the pause it, that momentum can need serious revival when the project moves forward again.

What this means is when the project is picked up again, you need to become reacquainted with the story. Depending on how complicated the story is, the longer it will take to get up to speed.

I’m currently working on a rewrite of a very complicated young adult story that’s over 100,000 words. The author took a long pause, revising the latter part of the story before sending it to me.

The project should be starting up again very soon and I’ll have to get back into the story to be able to build up the momentum again.

This adds more time and work into the project that wasn’t accounted for.

Another aspect of losing momentum, is the story itself.

If I’m in that flow and it’s stopped, will the remainder of the story be the same. Will I find that ‘groove’ again and tell the best story possible?

So far, I think I’ve been able to. But I can see how the story could be affected. Long pauses aren’t a good thing.

  1. The writer’s workload can be challenged.

As a working children’s ghostwriter, you get new projects that need to be scheduled into your workload.

When a client pauses a project and then picks up in a month of two, you’re already into those other projects. You’ve developed a momentum for each of them.

If you only have one or two other projects going on, it’s not that difficult to include the paused project.

But if you have four or five projects going on, and one is a middle grade or young adult, being able to juggle a paused project back into the mix can be challenging.

You don’t want to take time and attention away from current projects.

So, what’s the ghostwriter to do?

The answer to this question depends on the writer.

I always work the paused project back into my workload. I keep my current projects in the forefront, though.

Fortunately, long pauses on projects don’t happen to me often, especially very long ones. Although, in 2020 I had three projects paused. It could be due to the year, or possibly it was a coincidence.

Whatever the reason, from experience I now have a clause in my freelance agreement that allows for a fee to resume a project after a two-week pause. I do of course take into consideration the circumstances involved.

So, if you’re working with a ghostwriter, be aware that there is a writing momentum. And it’s important to keep that momentum going for the story and for the ghostwriter’s time and workload.

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Chapter Book Guidelines

Get Your Self-Published Books Into Libraries – 6 Must Know Tips

Tips on Polishing Your Novel

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Jan 01

The New Year

2020 gave us a run for our money. It devastated lives. It turned our world upside down.

While it’s great to see it behind us, uncertainty, fear, and illness is still ahead of us in the New Year.

Yes, we learned a lot over the last nine months, but there’s still so much we don’t know.

What we’ll all need is perseverance and resilience. A writer who is also a psychologist, Dr. Valerie Allen, has some advice. I hope it helps you get through 2021.

The Bounce Back Kid

By Dr. Valerie Allen

We are resilient! We all have a natural ability to start over. We can recover after loss and rejection. We can find happiness after emotional despair. Those who successfully pull themselves up and out of a dark place in their lives engage in the following behaviors.

Adaptability: They are socially responsive. They are flexible and develop the ability to adapt to change, to “go with the flow.” They develop an ability to take things in stride and not over react or
become distraught in response to a change in plans or circumstances. No high drama for these folks!

Reflection: They develop a high tolerance for frustration. They come to understand their trigger points, those people and events that set them off emotionally. They try to avoid frustrating situations and attempt to minimize negative outcomes. No grinding their teeth!

Problem Solving: They learn to consider alternatives before making decisions. They seek solutions and view problems as an opportunity to be a creative thinker. They become secure enough to avoid “finger pointing” and the need to find fault and blame others. No hand twisting for them!

Self Esteem: They develop “self love” and a “can do” attitude. They have survived experiences that called for self-efficacy, which built a strong sense of self-confidence. They realize they make mistakes and things often don’t go as expected. They understand it’s not the situation, but how it’s handled that validates them as worthy, successful individuals. No headaches allowed!

Optimism: They developed a positive worldview. They have a good feeling about themselves, others, and life in general. They expect good things to happen and when they do, they recognize them. They are future directed. They expect to succeed and live accordingly. No whining from these people!

Warmth and Affection: They feel comfortable demonstrating affection. They are able to give and accept sincere compliments. They consider physical touch a positive and caring gesture. No giving the cold shoulder to others!

Responsibility: They are dependable. They do their best, keep their word, and follow up on promises. They understand others are depending on them. They’re validated and find comfort in a sense of belonging. No excuses to avoid their obligations!

Social Involvement: They are involved with others and their community. They extend themselves through social activities, service to others, and caring for friends and family. They live beyond meeting their own needs and give to others socially, emotionally, and financially. No hiding from others!

Learning Experiences: They seek and enjoy learning new things. Formal education is viewed as an opportunity for growth and enrichment. Casual learning takes place in their day-to-day experiences, which provides them with practical knowledge of the world around them. No thinking they know it all!

To find inner peace, we must come to understand the only certainty is change. We must adapt to survive physically, mentally, and emotionally. We must seek harmony with the world in which we live.

Wishing Everyone A Safe and Peaceful New Year!

Dec 27

Writing First Paragraphs

Contributed by Linda Wilson

How many times have you written and rewritten the first paragraph of your first chapter?

Ten, twenty, fifty times?

Stephen King has said he words and rewords his opening paragraphs over weeks, months, and even years: “If I can get that first paragraph right, I’ll know I can do the book.” What are the essentials of the first line and first paragraph that will entice your reader to want more?

An Opening Checklist

The opening of a novel must accomplish a lot in as few words as possible. When I’m starting a new book, I prop before me Linda Sue Park’s book, When My Name was Keoko, to use as a model. Of course, my book is completely different from hers, but the stage is set for her entire book by the middle of page two, and I work to accomplish this as early as possible in my book, following her example.

Park’s book is told in alternating sections by Sun-hee and her brother, Tae-yul.

  • Consider the first line: “It’s only a rumor,” Abuji said as I cleared the table. “They’ll never carry it out.” Are you in? This first line makes you wonder: Who is Abuji? What is the rumor? Who is ‘they’? And what won’t they carry out? Without a doubt, trouble is brewing.
  • Consider the second line: “My father wasn’t talking to me, of course. He was talking to Uncle and my brother, Tae-yul, as they sat around the low table after dinner, drinking tea.” The main characters are introduced simply and succinctly. Page 1 to middle of page 2 add more information to explain what the book is about. In the middle of page 2, the main character’s problem is expressed in plain language: “Nobody ever told me anything. I always had to find out for myself. But at least I was good at it. You had to do two opposite things: be quiet and ask questions. And you had to know when to be quiet and who to ask.”
  • By the end of this first section, on page 4, the problem that the book addresses is explained. From page 1-4, the story is told by Sun-hee but her name is given only once, as a kind of chapter heading: 1. Sun-hee (1940), and once is enough. Numbering the chapters alternately, first Sun-hee talks, then Tae-yul, is unique and a great way to tell the story.
  • The setting is established early and by the middle of page 2 the reader cares about Sun-hee.

Sage Advice from Stephen King

When Stephen King writes a first draft, he just writes. So, I understand this to mean that crafting comes with revision. And to draw your reader in, your opening line “should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know this.”

He doesn’t necessarily agree with advice many hear: to open a book in the middle of “a dramatic or compelling situation, because right away you engage the reader’s interest.”–called the “hook”. He says that’s true to a point. But the opening needs to accomplish more with few words, as Linda Sue Park’s opening first line did. The opening introduces the writer’s style, and more important, the writer’s voice. King thinks readers “come for the voice.” To find out more of Stephen King’s advice and many examples that he offers on first paragraphs that he thinks are great, please go to: A July, 2013 article in The Atlantic.

A Personal Note

I started this post believing that the first paragraph of my WIP was finished. I began reading it and, a la Stephen King, wasn’t happy. It is now revised for the umpteenth time. Was this the last revision? I can’t say. But I must keep working until “I can get that first paragraph right.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linda Wilson, is a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate. She has published over 150 articles for children and adults, and several short stories for children. Visit Linda at https://www.lindawilsonauthor.com and on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/lindawilsonchildrensauthor.

This article was first published at: http://www.writersonthemove.com/2017/10/writers-first-paragraph-essentials.html

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself? Check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

5 Rules to Writing a Children’s Book

16 Reasons Why You Should Publish a Book

Your Children’s Fiction Manuscript and a Ghostwriter

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Dec 20

A Children’s Writing Coach – Do You Need One?

Writing for children.

25 Reasons You May Need Help Writing Your Own Children’s Book

I’ve been a children’s ghostwriter and rewriter (book doctor) for many years.

Now and then, though, I’ll get someone who comes to me for help, but they want to write the book themselves.

This is great. I encourage wannabe authors to go for it.

The problem, though, is when they’re done and give me their draft to edit, I end up having to rewrite the story.

The reason for this is they don’t take the time to at least learn the basics of writing. They have no idea about story structure, plot, themes, memorable characters, the basic writing elements, and so on.

So …

I decided to offer children’s writing coaching for those who want to write their own children’s story, but don’t know how, or aren’t sure how to go about it, or don’t have the confidence to go it alone and need some hand-holding.

If you think you can just jump in, there’s nothing to it, I created a checklist for you to ponder over.

It’s also a list for those wannabe authors who aren’t quite sure if they should go it alone or take the plunge with some help.

Here is the checklist with twenty-five questions that will help you determine if you’re ready and able to write a children’s story on your own:

  1. Do you know how to start a story to grab the reader’s attention?
  2. Do you know about protagonists? How many can you have?
  3. Do you know the children’s writing genre differences?
  4. Do you know the word counts for each?
  5. Do you know about conflict? Is it age-appropriate?
  6. Do you know about the story arc?
  7. Do you know about the character arc?
  8. Do you know the protagonist should resolve the conflict?
  9. Do you know the protagonist should grow in some way?
  10. Do you know to write dialogue?
  11. Do you know about punctuation?
  12. Do you know about story structure?
  13. Do you know what the take-away value is?
  14. Do you know your story should have age-appropriate words?
  15. Do you know your story should have age-appropriate topics?
  16. Do you know that even the sentence structure and word count matter?
  17. Do you know how to format your story?
  18. Do you know that with picture books the illustrations help tell the story?
  19. Do you know how to pace your story, especially if it’s an MG or YA?
  20. Do you know how to move your story forward?
  21. Do you know what subplots are?
  22. Do you know that all loose ends need to be tied up.
  23. Bonus question – Do you know how to write a satisfying ending?
  24. Do you know about revisions and editing?
  25. Do you know what to do once you finish your draft?

There’s also showing versus telling, information dump, and more, but I think twenty-five questions to think about should give you an idea of whether or not you’ll need help.

A professional children’s writer knows about all these things. She can guide you to a book you’ll be proud to be author of.

So, what do you think? Do you need a children’s writing coach?

If you think you need more than guidance, feedback, and hand-holding, you might need a children’s ghostwriter.

Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

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Dec 06

Should You Edit Your Professional Edit?

Watch out for unprofessional editors with self-publishing services.

Once I ghostwrite a children’s story, I edit and proof it.

If I don’t have enough time to let the story sit for a while, I’ll send it out for proofing. Or if it’s a middle grade or young adult and I’ve been working on it for a long time and am too close to it, I may have someone else take a look at it.

But usually, I’m able to edit and proof the manuscript myself. Then I give it to my client.

At this point, it’s ready to move on to publication or submissions.

So, what can go wrong after that?

It doesn’t happen often, but once in a while, I’ll get a client who decides to edit the manuscript I’ve handed over.

This comes about in one of two ways:

1. The client, for whatever reason, takes it upon himself to add text, possibly to boost the word count. When the author doesn’t know how to write, it becomes an issue.

To give you an idea of what I mean, here are a few examples of added dialogue:

“Hey,” said Joe”, want to go for a swim?”

“Sure Pete, said Jane, how about if I go with you?”

“I’m working” said Justin.

“That’s what it’s for”, said his brother.

Hi, my name is Philip” she said.

I changed the text, but the punctuation is how it was. The errors aren’t even consistent. And the author changed some of my dialogue punctuation.

If I remember correctly, these kind of changes have only happened with male clients. That’s food for thought. LOL

2. The client uses a self-publishing service to get their book published and the service tells them they MUST have their manuscript edited first.

This has happened with both male and female clients of mine.

So, should you edit a professionally edited story?

Well, if the edit brings about an improvement, that’s great, go for it. Although, I haven’t seen this happen yet.

But if the client doesn’t know how to write, or the self-publishing company hires less than professional editors, that’s another story.

If you’re wondering how I know that a client edited a story I already edited, it’s simple. They end up coming back to me to re-edit what they’ve done or had done. (Click to tweet!)

It’s a shame.

They paid me to rewrite or ghostwrite a story and edit it.

Then, if they used a service, they paid the service to edit the story.

Then … when they come back to me, they pay me again to have the story re-edited.

I’ve seen manuscripts come back that have been edited by someone who clearly doesn’t speak English or doesn’t know how to write for children.

And, what I always find surprising is that I explain everything that comes up to my clients. And, I let them know that most self-publishing services can’t afford to hire professional editors.

But it doesn’t seem to register.

Again, it doesn’t happen often, but it’s frustrating when it does.

A perfect example is a return client I’m currently working with. It’s a middle grade story that was originally a rewrite/ghost project about a year ago. Originally, I explained:

  • There shouldn’t be more than one POV in a chapter.
  • One POV in a middle grade book is optimal, but two could work if necessary, and if it’s done properly.
  • The chapter length needs to be genre appropriate.

It seems the client had been shopping his story around and was told he needed a higher word count. He decided to add another 10,000 words himself.

The manuscript came back with the chapters broken down to 300 words, 600 words, 1800 words, and so on. There were over 50 chapters in a 42,000-word middle grade draft.

Along with this, there were multiple POVs within chapters, including the POVs of secondary characters. And a third POV was thrown in as a kind of overseer of the story.

The interesting thing is that after I went through the story once after he gave it back to me, I fixed the chapter lengths and when I emailed it back to him, he asked if I’d change the chapters to what he had.

I’m easy-going and do everything I can to help my clients, but I had to explain, again, that it’s not a good idea to have a middle grade story with chapter lengths too short and varying so greatly.

I let him know that there are certain guidelines for writing for children and if you’re submitting to publishers, it’s especially important to adhere to them.

I’m giving this story a third edit, but I have a gut feeling that after I hand the finished manuscript over to my client, he’s going to change it again.

So, what’s the bottom line?

1, Unless you know how to write, you shouldn’t edit a professional edit.

With that said, everyone makes mistakes. If you have a question about the manuscript or are concerned about something, talk to the writer who wrote it or edited it.

2. If you’re told the manuscript needs to be beefed up and you don’t want to pay for ghostwriting, read the manuscript carefully. Pay attention to sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, paragraph lengths, and chapter lengths.

Read other traditionally published books in your genre.

Then when you’re done adding to your story, have it edited by a professional. The less the editor has to do, the less it will cost.

3. Be careful with self-publishing services. They want to sell you any service they can – that’s how they make money. And to make money, most of these services can’t afford to hire professional writers.

I hope this helps you in your writing journey.

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Writing Perfection – Is There Such a Thing?

A Writer’s Number One Job

Picture Books – What Grabs an Editor?

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Nov 29

Don’t Give Up – Seek Inspiration

Don't Give Up

Contributed by Linda Wilson

All writers experience it: low times. A low time can rear its ugly head after a particularly painful rejection, a bad case of writer’s block, or in my current challenge, a serious case of lack of writing time. At times like these there is only one thing to do: Seek inspiration.

So before you make those New Year’s resolutions, spend a little time filling your well with inspiration. Jot down inspirational sayings and thoughts that speak to you—tack them onto your bulletin board and read them periodically throughout the New Year.

Read the Tea Leaves

During a recent visit with one of my daughters, I delighted in sharing a quiet moment with her sipping a cup of tea at the end of the day. Our favorite? Yogi Bedtime Tea (Yogi tea in its many varieties is sold at most major grocery and natural food stores). My daughter would read her saying to me and ask me what mine said, and we would revel in the simple yet profound sayings before taking our first sip.

I keep an envelope with some of my favorite inspirational sayings, many snipped from the strings on my teabags, and am considering using one of the Yogi sayings in the front pages of my WIP book. Enjoy a few from my collection:

“Oneness is achieved by recognizing your self.”
“Happiness comes from contentment.”
“Your intuition is your best friend.”
“Love, compassion and kindness are the anchors of life.”
“Let things come to you.”
“Live from your heart, you will be most effective.”
“I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings. “ – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) A saying from a Good Earth teabag.

Inspirational sayings Tacked onto My Bulletin Board

“I began to wonder if this was why I’m not afraid of the work it takes to write a novel. For me, writing isn’t work. It’s fun. It’s a creative exploration into my characters, their world, the possible points of view the story could be written in, or the possible scenes that could exist. It’s about exploring how wide and deep and wonderful a story can be, rather than seeing it as a straight shot from beginning to end. It’s not time to work on this revision. It’s time to play with this revision. I’m going to open my manuscript and not work, but play.” – Ingrid’s Notes

A note about Ingrid Sundberg: I’ve been following Ingrid Sundberg’s blog for years and gain a great deal of inspiration from her. She is the author of the YA novel, All We Left Behind, critiques manuscripts, and has recently begun teaching high school. If you don’t know her, I recommend visiting her blog. I think you’ll be glad you did.

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Anton Chekhov, known to be one of the greatest short fiction writers in history.

“Art can heal anything and everything. Go and give and give and give. And when you give it all, it comes back to you.” – Ben Vereen

A note about Ben Vereen: Ben Vereen, an “accomplished and versatile” entertainer has appeared on Broadway, performed many one-man shows in the US and abroad, played Chicken George in Roots and Louis Armstrong in Louis Armstrong, has had many appearances on TV and has accomplished much more.

Vereen holds a special place in my heart because of his courage in keeping his terrific attitude after losing his 16-year-old daughter in an auto accident, and suffering critical injuries from three accidents in one day.

“You’re dealt a hand of cards. You can choose to play it out—or not. I think the game is worthwhile, I really do.” Christopher Reeve, the actor who suffered a spinal cord injury after being thrown from a horse.

Do the work. Do the work. Do the work. Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame. I’m an audiobook fan and became inspired by Cranston’s story and advice in his autobiography audiobook, read by him,:A Life in Parts.

“Learning never exhausts the mind,” Leonardo daVinci, heard on CNN Fareed Zakaria’s GPS show on Sunday morning.

Benefit from Other Writers’ Wisdom

“Show up, show up, show up, and after a while, the muse shows up too.” – Isabel Allende, the Chilean-American author of The House of the Spirits.

“Kill your darlings. Even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” Stephen King. One of the main inspirations I draw from Stephen King, and there are many, is how he gave up on his first book, Carrie, and threw it in the trash. His wife found it and advised him that it was good—keep going. When he finally finished it, it was rejected 30 times!

“Start telling the stories that only you can tell.” – Neil Gaiman, celebrated English author of American Gods, Coraline, and Sandman comics.

“Be daring, take on anything. Don’t labor over little cameo works in which every word is to be perfect. Technique holds a reader from sentence to sentence, but only content will stay in his mind.” – Joyce Carol Oates, author of over 40 novels, plays and novellas, and many volumes of poetry, short stories, and nonfiction.

As you begin the New Year, take heart. Inspiration can be found in likely places, and hidden in places you might least expect. You will feel renewed and ready to best any battle that should come along.

Linda Wilson, is a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate. She has published over 150 articles for children and adults, and several short stories for children. Visit Linda at https://www.lindawilsonauthor.com and on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/lindawilsonchildrensauthor.

This article was originally posted at: http://www.writersonthemove.com/2017/12/do-not-give-up-seek-inspiration.html

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Why Do You Want to Write a Children’s Book?

Self-Publishing a Book (1) – Formatting

When Is It Time to Let Your Manuscript Fly?

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Nov 22

Writing for Children – Know What You’re Doing

As with anything you attempt to do, it’s important to know what you’re doing.

My father was a contractor – he built homes.

How structurally sound do you think those homes would have been if he didn’t know what he’s doing.

Well, the same thing applies to writing for children.

A common problem I see with new children’s authors is that they’re not familiar with the different genres.

I’ll see 2,000-word picture book drafts or 9,000-word middle grade drafts.

I’ll also see things like an intended middle grade draft with inappropriate content for the age group.

This also goes for the words you use in your story. Everything must be age appropriate when writing for children.

And, there must be a main character (protagonist).

A story I recently reviewed had no main character. It didn’t have a story arc either.

This is common for some new authors. They have a message they want to convey, but don’t realize it needs to be within the boundaries of a good fiction story.

Another biggie I notice is middle grade stories with multiple points of view (POV), even to the point of changing POVs within a chapter.

I realize that many people think writing for children is simple.

I mean how hard can it be, right?

Well, it’s actually a tough genre.

When writing for children, you must adhere to the industry’s standard guidelines. In other words, you need to know what you’re doing … you need to play by the rules.

Some elements that pertain to playing by the rules are:

  1. Word count
  2. Sentence length
  3. Chapter length
  4. Story length
  5. Age appropriate content
  6. Age appropriate words
  7. Point of view
  8. Protagonist
  9. Character arc
  10. Story arc
  11. The protagonist must solve the problem and grow in some way as a result of his journey

While there are other factors involved, these are eleven of the most important.

So, before you jump into a children’s story, read a lot of books in the genre you want to write. Be sure they’re well written, though. A good way to do this is to read recently traditionally published books by the top publishers, such as Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins.

These books will be up to the current publishing guidelines and will be well edited.

I’d also suggest you take some online children’s writing courses, read books on writing for children, and possibly get a children’s writing coach to help you over the hurdles and on to writing a publishable book.

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Writing a Fiction Story – Walking Through Walls Backstory

Learning to Write for Children – It’s More Than Just ABC

10 Rules for Writing Children’s Stories

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Nov 15

8 Must-Know Tips to Get Your Book Visible for Free

Are you thinking about writing a children’s book? Or, maybe you have one published already.

Well, unless you’ve written a book for ‘your eyes only’ or maybe your family’s, you’ll want to make your book visible. You’ll want as many people as possible to see what you’ve written.

This is especially true if you want to sell any of your books. You’ll want to actively generate visibility.

So, how do you do this?

Promotion, promotion, promotion…

Promoting your book is the only way to create visibility. And, as many have limited funds and can’t afford to pay a publicist or marketer, you need to look at strategies that are affordable or free.

In addition to the very basic strategies of creating a marketing plan which should include the book’s cover, how you’ll self-publish, and where your book will be sold, there are at least eight book marketing strategies that are free and sure to help create visibility for you and your author platform.

These tips are just as important if you’re traditionally publishing.

Eight FREE Strategies to Help Create and Increase Your Visibility

  1. Before your book is even published, create an author website.

I realize a number of new authors don’t want to be bothered with a website, especially if writing books isn’t something you intend to continue. But it does make a difference. It makes you look professional and it’s the place you will lead potential buyers to.

Let people know what your book is about. Maybe put tidbits from the book or books. Write about your writing, publishing, and book marketing process and experiences.

Preferably you will want to post to your site regularly even if it’s just once a month. You want it to be active for the search engines and for those who visit.

For more on why you need an author website you can read:

The Author Website – Do You Really Need One?

2. Create your own social media campaign.

This is where your website comes in handy. Post about your book and share your posts to your social media networks.

If you absolutely don’t want a website, at least post to your social media networks about your book.

Tip: If you use social media to promote your book, don’t forget to share other users’ content. Social media is about engaging others and making connections.

In addition to this, it’s a good idea to provide some useful information to users.

For example, my middle grade fantasy, Walking Through Walls, is based on an ancient Chinese tale. If I were to use social media just for promotion of my book, I’d post about things that relate to the book – maybe about dragons or the ancient Chinese culture of the time period of the book.

It’s about giving and engaging, not just promoting the book

Numbers 3-8 are tips for after your book is published.

3. Go to your local library and give the librarian a copy. Ask if she will carry your book. You can also ask if you can give a workshop or presentation on writing and/or on getting a book published.

4. Contact your local newspapers and ask if they will do a feature on you. Local papers look for local news. Having an author in the neighborhood is news. When my book, Day’s End Lullaby, became available, my local paper did an article on the book and on me. It was great exposure.

5. Join groups and forums that focus in the area you write. Social networking is a wonderful way to increase visibility. There are also many marketing groups you can join to increase your book marketing knowledge.

6. Post reviews of books you’ve read on sites such as Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Shelfari.

This is another useful marketing tool that will increase your visibility and build your author platform.

7. Submit your book to reviewers. This is a great marketing tool. Having good reviews to post on your site, and sites such as Amazon, is an important aspect to selling books, and selling books is what book marketing is all about.

People are influenced by the recommendations of others.

There are also sites like The New Book Review to post your reviews to. Just read the guidelines.

Get your friends and family involved too – ask them to read your book and post reviews to the above sites.

Be careful with Amazon though. Sometimes they won’t allow the review if you’ve posted to a number of other ‘review’ sites. And, sometimes they may stop a review if the reviewer didn’t buy the book.

Ask the reviewer to include a simple note at the end of the review explaining that s/he received a free book and the review is completely impartial.

You might also keep up with Amazon’s guidelines.

8. Create a signature for your emails. This signature is another means of allowing your platform to take root and create visibility for your book. Include your website’s URL, the name of your book/s, and maybe the sales page link.

You might also include your primary social media tag or URL to help build your network.

Use these tips and get started making your book visible today.

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Self-Publishing: 3 Perks and 4 Warnings

What is an Author Platform – How Do You Build It?

Small Home-Grown Book Publishers – Good or Bad?

Social media sharing