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 on: May 08, 2015, 05:51:38 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jojocookie
I know this has been discussed before. Sorry, I still need time to understand.

With regard to a PB, I put myself in a camp fire setting and pretend there is a child in front of me. I voice my own story to this invisble child and as I do I write it down. I know that would make the story all telling. Ignore that part.

Would that be a way to find your own unique voice? That way the terms and phrases would be ones you naturally use. I mean you could study other pieces of work but that is their voice. I want to find my voice. Am I grasping?Huh? But that leads to a different problem. If you find your own voice then would it thread its way through all of you written works. Ahh. . . another thread.

 on: May 07, 2015, 06:17:59 PM 
Started by Londy Leigh - Last post by DonnaMW
Hi Londy,

I exchange bits of novels and other writing with three people, I guess you could say we're a group. We met up on Critique Café, never go there anymore, but have been together for several years now. Two of the members are not so active, it might be nice to have some new blood. What kind of writing do you do? We're mostly MG and YA fiction, but I'm kind of all over the place, so sometimes I sub NF or adult fiction (nothing erotic or anything like that). Let me know if you're interested in joining us. Might be fun!

 on: May 07, 2015, 11:58:43 AM 
Started by Londy Leigh - Last post by ColoradoKate
Londy, I recently quit my long-time critique group--it was just too time-consuming and I was at a stage where I really needed beta readers (to read the whole novel, or at least big chunks at a time) rather than critiquing chapter by chapter.

So be thinking about what you're looking for. A lot of the more-structured groups I've come in contact with are great for short story writers, because you can submit a whole story when it's your turn, but would take years and years to provide critiques of a whole novel, you know?

 on: May 07, 2015, 11:53:06 AM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by ColoradoKate
For my personal taste I love it. I love it in Tale Of Despereux. I love it in Lemony Snicket.

How about when the narrator talks to the MC like: Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale.


Jojo, what a cute book that is, and what a lovely, read-aloud voice, too!

 on: May 07, 2015, 10:03:57 AM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by Londy Leigh
Londy, I was thinking of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, where the MC seems to be directly telling the reader stuff much of the time, interspersed with scenes acted out. Also Riordan's The Kane Chronicles, where the two main characters are supposedly dictating their story after everything happened, for the benefit of the reader, and the Lemony Snicket books where the narrator has a distinct personality and talks directly to the reader.

Aha! I see now! Thanks!

This is a great question....I've never really thought about this before.
I think it would depend on the intended audience, as well as the overall tone of the story. As I look at y'all's examples (Lemony Snicket, Tale of Despereaux), these are the sorts of books that were a huge hit when I read them aloud to kids, and were FUN to read aloud.

 on: May 07, 2015, 09:19:11 AM 
Started by chriseboch - Last post by Fancy
If you are just checking in, I recommend starting with the thread "What Is Voice?"

Then try "Identifying Your Voice"

And next "What Voice Do You Want?"

I answer questions and some of the other threads, but these three are the main ones where I'm introducing material.

I'll check back a couple of times today, and again tomorrow (Wednesday 3/5).

Thank you so much for the "map" Chris! I'm joining late and it's great to know where to start. I love the exercises, especially the one for What voice do you want!!!!

 on: May 07, 2015, 07:54:03 AM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by jojocookie
For my personal taste I love it. I love it in Tale Of Despereux. I love it in Lemony Snicket.

How about when the narrator talks to the MC like: Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale.


 on: May 07, 2015, 04:45:41 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
Children's Writers eNews
May 7, 2015
"The Write Words to Read"
The Institute of Children's Literature
Editor: Jan Fields -- author@janfields.com

“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years." To read is to voyage through time.” ~ Carl Sagan

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. Happy Spring! Don't forget to squeeze a little writing in amongst your gardening.

2. In the Rx
"A Spoonful of Humor"
Some practical advice for injecting humor into your writing.
3. Are You On The Writer's Retreat?
May's discussion of the month is "What is Voice? What is Style?" -- all through the month, we'll be talking about voice and style. What makes it important and what makes it yours.
4. What's New at Kristi's?

Friday, May 1: "Mixing Writing & Adult Children"
Can you mix writing with college kids home on vacation, grown children moving back in, and time with grandchildren? Yes!

Tuesday, May 5: "A Writer's Flexibility"
Writers need persistent flexibility if they want to sustain a writing career over the long haul. Learn to bend instead of break.
5. Pockets Updates Themes
Pockets uses themes for each issue, so check them out to see if any match an idea you'd like to write.

6. Writing for Children's Magazines
The May issue is online and includes a terrific piece by Marilyn Kratz on making your endings memorable!
7. More Mysteries -- 5 Tips to a Great Main Character

The memorable main character: for a character to carry a series of books, you’ll need to make the person memorable. Although the “every kid” type will offer instant ability for readers to connect, it won’t be enough – the character needs specific unique traits or abilities to linger in the mind of the reader. The unique trait might be quirky personality (Ruth Rose, for example, in the A-to-Z Mysteries by Ron Roy always wears all the same color and is prone to talking very loud) or unusual ability (Cam Janson has a photographic memory) or speech patterns (Chet Gecko has his hard-boiled detective patter) – but the character needs something to stand out from the pack.

1. Make the main character matter to the reader emotionally. That doesn’t mean the MC must be a paragon of virtue (in fact, no one like’s perfect people since they don’t read real and they’re kind of obnoxious), but you must give the character something we can connect with so that the fate of the main character matters to us. According to mystery author Susan Spann, the only thing better than an intriguing sleuth is a broken one. It’s the weakness in a character (and the character’s voice) that makes him/her linger in our minds.

2. Set important skills early. You may realize as you’re writing the story that your main character needs to be able to read Russian or needs to be a wiz at pattern recognition or needs to be a math genius or needs to be able to read upside down or read mirror writing without a mirror in order for him/her to be the perfect person to solve the crime. In that case, you have to let us know about that unusual skill early (long before it’s employed) so that it doesn’t feel too convenient.

3. Give the main character life beyond the mystery. Though this isn’t a particularly important part of the “pure puzzle” mystery such as the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries, it will help to make the main character matter to the reader. Unusually this is done by giving the main character some kind of non-mystery conflict – either family or school are the most common – that will be the subplot of the book.

4. Motivate your sleuth. Curiosity is sufficient motivation to solve the mystery of where my muffin went, but when a mystery gets scary (and thus even more compelling for the reader), the sleuth must have a GOOD reason to stick with the search for a solution. So watch your motivations and make them logical, sensible, and smart.

5. Consider the value of a Watson! A Watson gives the MC someone to bounce ideas against – and someone to ask the questions the reader may be asking. [A unique play on this concept is the sleuthing “team” where the characters work together and no one outshines the other, such as in The A-to-Z Mysteries]
8. Good News

Eve Heidi Bine-Stock: I'm hitting the magazine market now and having great success. My story, "Sorry, Sarah," is featured as the cover story of Our Little Friend in the May 30, 2015 issue. In addition, my story, "Raymond and I Cross the Street," was published in the "Funny True Stories" section of Reader's Digest's "Reminisce" magazine, in their April/May issue. Also, my rhyming story, "A Kiss from Mommy," will be published in June or July in "Making Your Week HAPPIER." (It is also available as an illustrated ebook on Amazon.)

Lily Erlic: My book FINGER RHYMES FOR MANNERS received a 5-star rating on Amazon! (I was so happy). Also, chapter book for children ages 7-11, SCOOTER CLUB, is now on Kindle e-book. I took the cover photo at my brother's place. He build the clubhouse for his children. Fifteen years ago, Grandpa build a clubhouse for my children. They are the original "Scooter Club" boys. http://www.amazon.com/Scooter-Club-Lily-Erlic-ebook/dp/B00P31LBYK

Christine Collier: My children’s devotion, “Tame Your Tongue,” based on Scripture verses from James 3:1-12, will be in Oct./Nov./Dec. issue of Keys for Kids magazine. My essay, “A Dresser from the Past,” will be in the May issue of Prairie Times. For the third time my article on coin collecting is published in the May, 2015, issue Dollars & Cents, in Fun For Kidz magazine.  It was first published in their 2007 issue, Fun with Hobbies, and again in their Dollars & Cents issue of Hopscotch, 2009. You receive the same payment with each publication. My article, “Sport Idioms We Use Everyday,” will be in the August, 2015, issue of Boys’ Quest. The theme is Fun with Words.

Leigh Dolinger: My poem, “My Clock Has No Hands” won the  Y.A.R.N. Poetry Contest featured in your great newsletter.  You can read it (http://yareview.net/2015/04/winners-the-yarn5-contest/

Kelly Carey: My fiction story "CHIRP"  appears in the May issue of Clubhouse Jr. Magazine.

Judy Bradbury: My latest book, Empowering Families: Practical Ways to Involve Parents in Boosting Literacy, Grades Pre-K—5 has been released by Routledge. Co-authored by Susan E. Busch, this professional resource offers educators motivating programming and materials for involving families in literacy. For more information, visit the publisher’s website at http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781138803114/.

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.

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 on: May 07, 2015, 02:33:08 AM 
Started by Londy Leigh - Last post by Claudine Gueh
Londy, I'm on BB sometimes to read the threads but am not very active in the interactions. Did find two fellow MG-authors there to do critique swaps for my last MG novel. Intimidating at first but it turned out very well.

If you don't mind doing a critique swap, let me know, too. I'm going to need critique on my next MG novel later this year.  Smiley Good luck finding a group soon!

 on: May 06, 2015, 11:30:47 PM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by ColoradoKate
Londy, I was thinking of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, where the MC seems to be directly telling the reader stuff much of the time, interspersed with scenes acted out. Also Riordan's The Kane Chronicles, where the two main characters are supposedly dictating their story after everything happened, for the benefit of the reader, and the Lemony Snicket books where the narrator has a distinct personality and talks directly to the reader.

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