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 on: July 10, 2014, 07:51:14 AM 
Started by KatieC - Last post by jfields
There usually is one person who is the mainest of the main characters. Even with a two-person split character, you tend to get the feeling one is a bit more important and USUALLY that person is the one first introduced.

 on: July 10, 2014, 07:29:15 AM 
Started by KatieC - Last post by judyr
I looked The City of Ember up on Amazon, Kate, and now I kinda want to read the series.  Grin  I have another question. If you're considering dual POV, should the story start with the POV of the MC? Or would there even be an MC? 

 on: July 10, 2014, 07:17:05 AM 
Started by KatieC - Last post by jfields
Often multiple points of view are used when you have more than one character of extreme importance to a plot. Sometimes it's a way to show two people making a similar emotional journey in a very different way. Viewpoint is normally switched at change of scene or change of chapter.

In chapter change, the new viewpoint is often also the chapter title to help keep readers oriented. But it's also good to clarify right away in the narrative itself so readers don't make the mistake of thinking it's character A they are following when you've switched to character B.

 on: July 10, 2014, 07:14:28 AM 
Started by KatieC - Last post by jfields
Although I've seen head-hopping in some non-adventure stories published in the UK for adults, for kids/teens head-hopping is almost constantly either
- certain specific genre where they're traditional, namely high fantasy, adventure and some thrillers or mystery/thrillers
- books with large casts and action, especially action that involves lots of people (which is why it's so common in high fantasy).
- books looking for a very old-fashioned tone, that head hopping can be part of building that whole feeling

 on: July 10, 2014, 06:53:55 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
Children's Writers eNews
July 10, 2014
"The Write Words to Read"
The Institute of Children's Literature
Editor: Jan Fields -- author@janfields.com

"Writing is the act of discovery." -- Natalie Goldberg
1. News
2. Online in Rx
3. At the Writer's Retreat
4. Market
5. Cool Site
6. Essay
7. Good News
1. You'll notice there's no link to Kristi Holl's blog. She's on hiatus while she works on another project.
2. In the Rx
Short Stories Teens Will Love
Short stories for teens can be hard to write and the market for them is extremely competitive. Still for the YA writer, these tiny gems of story are worth aspiring to, so check out this chat with Cicada editor Deborah Vetter.
3. Are You On The Writer's Retreat?
Check out our July discussion topic: Point of View.

And for all visitors whether registered or not, you'll find plenty of helpful information: get help for student lessons. Learn to build solid plots. Share your ups and downs with fellow writers. It's all there.
4. Writing for Children's Magazines
The July issue of Evelyn Christensen's fantastic ezine is online and (as always) it's terrific.
5. The 15 Punctuation Marks
This little pdf about using different punctuation marks is well worth printing out and putting up beside your computer.

Let me begin by saying that I’ve never hired an editor. First, I’m cheap and good editors are not. Second, I’m poor-ish. Third, I have a fairly swelled head and think I write pretty well all on my own. But I understand that many people feel more confident with a manuscript if they hire someone to look over it and give them suggestions. Plus, when you hire someone with industry experience, you expect you’ll be getting a bit more from the feedback than when you have your kids or neighbor read it.

Still, good editorial feedback is pricey, and cheap editorial feedback is usually worth just about as much as free editorial feedback (so why pay for it?) Thus, it’s a good idea to have your goals for the feedback strongly in mind before you seek it. And to voice those goals up front before hiring an editor. What are some good goals for feedback?

DESIRE TO HAVE WRITING WEAKNESSES CLEARLY POINTED OUT. Sometimes we’re a little blind to our own weaknesses. Sometimes we’re really, really blind to our weaknesses. And if you cannot learn from your paid editor, then the work is really only of value if you recoup the costs by selling the specific manuscript in question– which is never a sure thing. So, learning is always an important goal to paid feedback because learning can be applied to this manuscript and to all the manuscripts that come after this one. Tell your editor that you want to learn what your weaknesses are – you want them spelled out and you may have questions about them so you truly understand. Make that clear upfront so you don’t get shut down if you later want to ask what she meant by “you overuse gerunds.” Don’t ARGUE about your weaknesses. If you don’t think it’s a weakness, that’s fine, but don’t try to talk your editor into agreeing with you. Listen. Ask questions. Don’t argue.

It’s really not very helpful if you hire someone to help you polish and polish your 9000 word picture book about getting a job in the adult entertainment industry. No matter how well it reads, you’ll not sell it to a children’s book publisher. So the money spent polishing will be flush money. And the time spent on the manuscript will be time you aren’t spending on something that could sell. Keep in mind that NO ONE wants to rain on your parade. So when the editor tries to tell you about marketability, you’ll need to listen closely if you want to hear it. Also, if you want to pay to polish something that will never sell – you’ll probably be able to talk most editors into helping you do that. But if the core premise isn’t marketable and the end result never sells, it won’t be the editor’s fault. An editor can help you create a better book, but the editor cannot change the marketplace to suit you.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting your manuscript to be its best. Keep in mind that a manuscript can be its very best and still not be the best match for a given publisher. That means that even after you paid to get it edited, you’ll still go through more editing if the book sells to a publisher. That seems to come as a shock to some people. But an editor at a publishing company has different goals from the editor you hire. The editor you hire is trying to get the manuscript to be its best within your personal vision for it. The editor at a publisher is trying to get the manuscript to be its best while still (1) being competitive in the market, (2) working well with the rest of the publisher’s line and (Roll Eyes conforming to any specific standards of that publisher. That publishing company editor respects your vision but they have a bottom line that wants to get the book into the hands of as many children as possible.

When an editor tells you that publishers aren’t looking for picture books on the adult entertainment industry or the personal memoirs of your dog (who generally did normal dog things), that will bring you to a point of decision. Do you want to abandon the piece or polish it to its best and consider alternative publishing? Alternative publishing might be with teeny tiny publishers (usually electronic only) who will usually only sell the number of books you personally connect buyers with. These tiny publishers often pick up risky manuscripts because they invest so little money in producing books that they can make a profit from far fewer sales. Alternative publishing might also be self-publishing. There is nothing wrong with that, but educate yourself on the state of these options in the marketplace today for your age reader. Often the inflated claims of sales with these alternate forms of publishing are only true for books for adult audiences in specific genre. This can mean your book will sell in very low numbers and only when you push for a sale with a reader. It will also mean your book (and you as an author) will almost certainly be treated differently by bookstores, libraries, schools and possibly by writer’s organizations. If you’re content with this – there’s nothing wrong with making the choice. But a good choice is an informed choice. Hype shouldn’t be confused with information.

Thus, there are good reasons to hire an editor if you desire one. Be careful to choose only experienced people. Remember that cheap is usually worth about as much as free (so go with free options like critique groups or critique partners or critique boards). Discuss your goals clearly and specifically with the editor you hire. And be informed, so you can make your financial choices wisely.

7. Good News

Anne E. Johnson - My middle-grade story, "Magic Carpet," is featured this month on the Rainbow Rumpus website. http://www.rainbowrumpus.org/kids/story/magic-carpet

Mary Vela: My children’s picture book, LUCKY'S LICK recently won a 2014 Book of the Year Award. This is the second award for the book. The story is about love and faith. I have also published two more books: THE LITTLER CAR and THE GRUMPY FISH.

Bernadette Cortas Golitz: THE JEWELED HOUSE, the first of three middle grade mysteries, is now offered as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobe and others. Related curriculum and study guides can be found on my website http://www.journalclubs.net

Jayne Moraski: I'm grinning because my debut picture book, HOW ALLIGATOR GOT HIS SMILE BACK, has been published by Guardian Angel Publishing. This story is full of explanation of how the mangrove swamps of the southeast were born, and of course, how alligators got their big grins.  http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/alligator.htm

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.

8. 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
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 on: July 09, 2014, 06:00:38 PM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by anita3
I know I'm late stating this (I've been on forced hiatus), but I'm also sad to lose the Children's Writer newsletter.

 on: July 09, 2014, 05:06:21 PM 
Started by KatieC - Last post by KatieC
Oh, that makes sense Kate. This book was adventure'ish, so maybe that's why it worked. At any rate, it was well done.

 on: July 09, 2014, 04:42:53 PM 
Started by judyr - Last post by ColoradoKate
I think maybe The Mysterious Benedict Society books are in omniscient. We're in everyone's head, or at least privy to what everyone is thinking and feeling, switching around from paragraph to paragraph.

 on: July 09, 2014, 04:39:43 PM 
Started by KatieC - Last post by ColoradoKate
It's my thought that you'd use two (or more?) POVs if there's no way you could tell the story you want to tell through just one character.

Judy, The City of Ember is MG and uses two POVs, both third person, a boy and a girl.

 on: July 09, 2014, 04:29:31 PM 
Started by KatieC - Last post by ColoradoKate
An older Newbery winner, The Westing Game, head-hops within the same scene, and the Ranger's Apprentice series head-hops from scene to scene.

I asked Jan about that, once upon a time, and I'm pretty sure she said something about how it's more common and works better in adventure stories where the action is more important than the reader's attachment to the characters. That makes sense, if you think about it--if there's a lot of head-hopping, the reader is not going to get invested in living the story through one or two main characters.

I don't remember much about The Westing Game, but in the Ranger's Apprentice books the author basically hops into whoever's head he needs to in order to move the plot along--it might be a horse, might be the enemy commander so we can learn what the MC can't know, might be anyone at all. Still, there are main characters, and you do (as a reader) end up identifying with them and caring about them... but the books are definitely adventure stories, nonetheless.

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