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 11 
 on: July 16, 2015, 07:55:38 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jfields
I actually considered writing a bit for the enews on picture book layers, using WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

On one layer, you have a simple adventure story of a boy who "escapes" from having to go to his room by sailing away to the land of the Wild Things, having fun adventures, and then sailing home for bed. Simple action layer.

On the second layer, you have a boy who wants to be wild. Not only that, he wants his wildness accepted. So he goes to a place where everyone is wild. He finds acceptance and enjoys that, but ultimately, he chooses home/love over being allowed to be a wild thing without censure. Freedom to be wild wasn't enough. It wasn't satisfying. And on the last page we find out why when he gets home and his supper is waiting and it's still hot. He may have limits at home, but he clearly has love as well.

The third layer is subtle and is about his mom. She gets frustrated with him for being a wild thing and sends him to his room, but she later softens the punishment because she still loves her wild thing. We don't get it spelled out, but it's a very tangible expression of what REAL motherhood is like.

And really, there's a fourth layer about love. The Wild Things *say* they love the boy. In fact, they say they love him so much they could just eat him up. It's a very fierce, passionate sort of thing -- to the point of being literally consuming. BUT the boy turns that kind of "love" down and returns for the love that does place limits but is also very nurturing, it feeds -- it doesn't consume.

 12 
 on: July 16, 2015, 06:56:29 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jojocookie
Anyone know of good examples of layers in picture books?

 13 
 on: July 16, 2015, 06:32:14 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
Children's Writers eNews
July 16, 2015
"The Write Words to Read"
The Institute of Children's Literature
http://www.institutechildrenslit.com
Editor: Jan Fields -- author@janfields.com

-------------------------------------------------------------------
"My personal best advice to anyone would be, write what you're hungry for."
-- Margaret O'Hair
from THE ABCs OF WRITING FOR CHILDREN
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE
1. News
2. Online in Rx
3. At the Writer's Retreat
4. What's New at Kristi's?
5. Market
6. Cool Site
7. Essay
8. Good News
9. Note to subscribers
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Writing Contest -- Early Reader Mystery -- deadline July 18
https://www.writersbookstore.com/sc/wbs_contest.htm
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. In the Rx
Patching Problems in Writing for Young Children
http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/rx/ws05/voiceage.shtml
Tips for several common issues in writing for very young children.
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3. Are You On The Writer's Retreat?
http://www.institutechildrenslit.net/index.php
July's discussion of the month is "Layered Plots" -- all through the month, we'll be talking about this important topic. Plots, subplots, internal conflict, external conflict -- how do we weave these together to make a convincing story? Pop in to talk about it all during July.
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4. What's New at Kristi's?
http://kristiholl.net/writers-blog/

Friday, July 10: "Preparing to Write"
The writing process has predictable stages. Each stage has traps to watch out for and also ways to navigate successfully.

Tuesday, July 14: "Germination Phase"
Between preparing to write and actually working on a story is the germination phase. Make the most of this phase with these ideas.
--------------------------
5. Do You Have a very good or very bad pet?
http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics
Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for true stories of very good, very bad cats and dogs for two upcoming books.
True stories up to 1200 words. The Chicken Soup books have been very good to our readers. Pay for stories is $200.
Deadlines for stories and poems is August 31, 2015.
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6. Word Frequency Counter
http://www.writewords.org.uk/word_count.asp
Want to know exactly how many times you've used "that" in your story? This counter can suggest overused words so you can slim down on them a bit.
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7. The First Two
(this is part of the layered-plot discussion on the Writer's Retreat)

Two distinct layers are part of pretty close to every successful plot. They work together, weave in and out of one another, and combine to make a story that matters to the reader. The plot needs both an action layer (what the characters do) and an emotion layer (how the character changes.) Obviously these will be intertwined so they're less layers and more strands in a plait.

The action layer is the physical pressure of the story, the thing that presses on the main character until he simply MUST do something. In general, the more difficult the SOMETHING, the more pressure you have to build in to make us believe the character would do it. For instance, in a plot for preschoolers...if the child sees something roll by while he's on the floor building blocks, he'll feel pressure (curiosity) and all he has to do to relieve it is get up and run in the direction of the object he saw. This might be enough pressure for a preschool mystery as he follows the rolling, flashing object from room to room, crawling under the bed at one point and in and out of the closet. We can believe curiosity would propel a child along that route.

But what if the object rolls out the window and across the roof and down the drainpipe and across the yard and into the very scary woods. Now you need an older protagonist, an older reader and a lot more pressure. Now he will need to do more than wonder about the rolling object. He'll need a good reason to actually be invested in catching it.

So the more danger/effort/pain the character has to go through in the plot, the more the "problem" must be applying pressure to keep the character there. For instance, suppose you have a haunted house that is doing terrifying things. Why doesn't the character simply leave? Why stay in this horrifying situation? The character needs more reason than because he is curious or stubborn -- make the reason bigger.

Now the emotional layer is a little trickier. It needs to work with the physical layer, be entwined throughout and not just feel tacked on, not be really obvious (the kid who has to do into the scary dark cellar after his ball even though he's afraid of the dark is both overdone and probably doesn't have enough pressure to get him down there anyway. Personally, as a kid who was brutally afraid of things like scary dark cellars...I would have simply kissed the ball good-bye.) And the change that occurs in the emotional layer must be believable as well. As a child who was afraid of scary dark cellars, I can tell you that if something forced me to go down in one and I did it -- afterwards, I'd still be dang scared of scary dark cellars. Just because you survived the terrifying thing once doesn't mean you're not afraid of it anymore. I may have learned I'll survive even if I push myself into scary things, but I won't suddenly find them not scary.

Since I tend to write adventure stories, mysteries, and humor -- I often have to really work to keep an emotional layer in the story because the things I write as so plot driven. And to be honest, with some forms, you can definitely sell a story with very little emotional layer. I'm working on something now that a publisher loves that has almost no emotional layer (it's humor) -- but the stories that linger with the reader, the stories that win awards and such -- those tend to be the ones with a strong emotional layer well integrated with a strong action layer.
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8. Good News

Katherine Whitehead: My mid grades Mystery/adventure book, The Mysterious Growing Gum, was accepted as a semi-finalist in the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Awards. The proceeds will go to the charity, Save the Children.

Jan Fenimore: I published a story, Who Wants to Work?, in the summer 2015 issue of Soap Stone Creek Literary Journal and a poem, Becoming a Monarch, in the July 2015 issue of Kid’s Imagination Train Magazine. Also, I was the 5th place winner in the Institute of Children’s Literature recent poetry contest.

What's Your Good News? Send to author@janfields.com -- be sure to put "good news" in the subject line since I get a lot of book announcements due to the review work I do. So I don't want your good news to slip through the cracks.
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9. For All Subscribers

Many of our eNews issues are being blocked from getting to all of our subscribers. It can be difficult to convince your email provider that you truly want to receive this eNews. Therefore we've created a list of directions to make it easier for you find the exact steps to ensure the eNews always makes it to your inbox.

Please, check out this link http://institutechildrenslit.com/email_whitelist_instructions.htm for specific directions to ensure you get every issue of the Children's Writers eNews.

-------------
To Unsubscribe from the email version of Children's Writers eNews, go to
http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/rx/email_updates_unsubscribe.shtml
-------------
NOTE: I can add you, remove you, or change your address manually and will be happy to do so.
To have your address changed, email author@janfields.com and do the following:
1. TELL ME that it's a change of address for the eNews. I handle a lot of things so if you don't tell me what you want me to do, I may not do it.
2. TELL ME your OLD address as well as the NEW one. I cannot search by your name. I need the old address.
3. DO NOT send me a mass mailing that you sent to everyone in your address book that just tells me your new email. I won't know what you want me to do or if it's really for me at all. And I'll probably just delete it.

 14 
 on: July 14, 2015, 05:32:25 PM 
Started by Lizardmaker - Last post by ColoradoKate
Thanks!

 15 
 on: July 14, 2015, 05:14:11 PM 
Started by Lizardmaker - Last post by Lizardmaker
No entry fee. They're looking for stories and poems on the topic of summertime. Details here:

http://eatsleepwrite.net/newslettercontest

 16 
 on: July 13, 2015, 02:57:06 PM 
Started by jfields - Last post by Trine
Thank you, Jan. This is very helpful. I am the emotion writer and have to work hard on weaving in the action and forward momentum.

 17 
 on: July 09, 2015, 02:03:02 PM 
Started by jfields - Last post by salex
Thank you, Jan. I really appreciate your piece on adventure writing for mags. Now, to see if I can do it in 2,000 words instead of the 50K I've been writing.

 18 
 on: July 09, 2015, 01:59:06 PM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by salex
I tend to think of subplots as mini stories within the larger picture story. It's the threading them through the main plot that makes them layers-at least that's what I've learned through my ICL novel course.

 19 
 on: July 09, 2015, 08:21:26 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
Children's Writers eNews
July 9, 2015
"The Write Words to Read"
The Institute of Children's Literature
http://www.institutechildrenslit.com
Editor: Jan Fields -- author@janfields.com

-------------------------------------------------------------------
"Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don't have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough."
--Stephen King
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE
1. News
2. Online in Rx
3. At the Writer's Retreat
4. What's New at Kristi's?
5. Market
6. Cool Site
7. Essay
8. Good News
9. Note to subscribers
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Writing Contest -- Early Reader Mystery
https://www.writersbookstore.com/sc/wbs_contest.htm
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. In the Rx
Super Cool Kid Nonfiction
http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/rx/tr01/milnerhalls.shtml
A chat with one of the coolest nonfiction writers around, full of great info.
-------------------------
3. Are You On The Writer's Retreat?
http://www.institutechildrenslit.net/index.php
July's discussion of the month is "Layered Plots" -- all through the month, we'll be talking about this important topic. Plots, subplots, internal conflict, external conflict -- how do we weave these together to make a convincing story? Pop in to talk about it all during July.
------------------------
4. What's New at Kristi's?
http://kristiholl.net/writers-blog/

Friday, July 3: "Happy 4th of July!"
"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."

Tuesday, July 7: "Celebrating Freedom....for Writers"
You can restore your freedom to focus on your writing for hours at a time with one simple little tool.
---------------------------
5. Writing for the Education Market
http://writingfortheeducationmarket.com/
You can create a profile in the searchable database of available writers (no charge) and receive emails with new educational job possibilities.
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6. Writing for Children's Magazines
http://evelynchristensen.com/mags.html
This terrific resource has updated for July with an editor interview, a terrific article on charting your stories, and (always my favorite) Ev's Market Tidbits.
---------------------------
7. A Call to Adventure
The Hero’s Journey for Magazine Writers

Increasingly editors are interested in two things in fiction (1) adventure and (2) something a boy might read. But many writers are stuck when it comes to thinking about adventure. What makes up an adventure and can you do it well in 2000 words or less (sometimes a lot less). Sure you can. After all, Sendak’s WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is a perfect adventure story in 336 words.

The adventure story is the basis for so many classic myths and legends – so much so that “The Hero’s Journey” has become almost a guidebook for adventure. So how could the circular structure of the basic “Hero’s Journey” help us craft a magazine adventure story? Let’s begin by looking at a simplified version of the Hero’s Journey structure, keeping in mind that for magazine fiction, the story must focus on the main character (MC):
Ordinary World – Stories begin just before the thing that ultimately changes the MC.
Call to Adventure – A need arises, the MC has a challenge.
Refusal/Commitment – the MC resists the challenge, doesn’t want to undertake the task but ultimately accepts that the challenge cannot be avoided.
Approaching the First Ordeal– The MC begins to understand the size of the challenge and the stakes are raised.
Ordeal – MC faces a serious challenge and overcomes.
Reward – a time of rest for the MC, sometimes a false sense of completion.
The Road/Resurrection – more complications, when things look much worse than expected and the biggest challenge met.
Mastery – The adventure resolves, often a sense of coming full circle. The MC has changed.

Okay, how might that play out in a magazine story? Let’s look at how it could play out in a short story synopsis:
Ordinary World – A boy heads home from a day at the pool and stops in a store for a cold drink.
Call to Adventure – Unexpectedly, the beloved store owner isn’t there and in his place is a hostile woman whose attention constantly shifts to the backroom door.
Refusal/Commitment – The boy hurries through his purchase to get away from the unpleasant woman. Once outside, he sits down to sip his drink and notices a lot people coming and going through the backdoor of the building – something he’s never seen before. He begins to wonder what’s going on.
Approaching the First Ordeal – The boy watches the store, even creeping close enough to the back door to hear what sounds like a scuffle. Could the woman be doing something illegal and holding the real store owner prisoner. The boy runs to alert a trusted adult.
Reward – The boy returns to the story with the trusted adult, expecting to save the story owner. But the woman tells the trusted adult a believable story and even opens the door to the backroom, where everything is quiet. The boy has now lost the support of his trusted adult.
The Road/Resurrection – The MC sits outside, determined to find out what is really happening. At first everything is quiet, then someone comes out of the backroom door, sees the boy and chases him away. The boy sneaks back, finding a better vantage point to watch the shop. He’s caught and this time the bad guy decides to hold onto the boy until their goal is met. The boy is locked into the shop bathroom with the beloved store owner (now slightly injured).
Mastery – Because of his small size, the boy can escape through the cramped bathroom window, though not without some minor injury. He runs to his trusted adult, this time with “proof” – the real store owner’s ubiquitous cap – now with bloodstains. The trusted adult calls the police and the store owner is saved!

In real life, the trusted adult might have stormed over to the store and given the woman some real conflict, not giving up easily. But then the story would have shifted from being the main character’s adventure/challenge to being the story of the actions of a side adult character. To work as a story, the main character has to commit to the challenge and overcome the obstacle on his own.

So how about you? Are you up for the challenge of building your own adventure short story from these elements? If so, consider this your Call to Adventure.

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8. Good News

Emese Fromm: My story, or retelling of an old Hungarian folktale, Speaking Grape, Smiling Apple, Singing Peach, was published in Skipping Stones magazine's July-Sept edition.

Judy Nill: Guardian Angel Publishing has just released my early reader, Samuel and Sophia: A Tale of Two Teddies by Judy Dearborn Nill, Illustrations by KC Snider.

Judy Snider: My husband and I just won honorable mention in the May/June American Songwriter Magazine for their lyrics contest for our song, Invisible and we collaborated with Billy Rae Stewart on a song (we do lyrics only), “If I Call A Name At Night” a heartfelt ballad on Amazon, iTunes, etc.

What's Your Good News? Send to author@janfields.com -- be sure to put "good news" in the subject line since I get a lot of book announcements due to the review work I do. So I don't want your good news to slip through the cracks.
------------

9. For All Subscribers

Many of our eNews issues are being blocked from getting to all of our subscribers. It can be difficult to convince your email provider that you truly want to receive this eNews. Therefore we've created a list of directions to make it easier for you find the exact steps to ensure the eNews always makes it to your inbox.

Please, check out this link http://institutechildrenslit.com/email_whitelist_instructions.htm for specific directions to ensure you get every issue of the Children's Writers eNews.

-------------
To Unsubscribe from the email version of Children's Writers eNews, go to
http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/rx/email_updates_unsubscribe.shtml
-------------
NOTE: I can add you, remove you, or change your address manually and will be happy to do so.
To have your address changed, email author@janfields.com and do the following:
1. TELL ME that it's a change of address for the eNews. I handle a lot of things so if you don't tell me what you want me to do, I may not do it.
2. TELL ME your OLD address as well as the NEW one. I cannot search by your name. I need the old address.
3. DO NOT send me a mass mailing that you sent to everyone in your address book that just tells me your new email. I won't know what you want me to do or if it's really for me at all. And I'll probably just delete it.

 20 
 on: July 08, 2015, 12:46:40 PM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by salex
I see that in Shannon Hale's books, as well as Rick Riordin and some of Gary Paulsen's books. They're experts in layering  imagery and theme with action.

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