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Writers Retreat

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 on: April 03, 2014, 12:21:51 PM 
Started by chriseboch - Last post by SusanUhlig
I do a mix similar to what Jan said; however, I bring my work-in-progress to a critique group. I've usually written a few chapters (at least) ahead of what I'm sharing with them, so that means it has waited a couple weeks and I've looked at it again before they see it. But they really help me in my areas of weakness. The resulting rewriting often affects what will come after that chapter or section.

For a picture book, it sits quite a while with me making periodic revisions until I don't know what else I could do with it. Then I take it to my critique group and I revise again. Sometimes I take it back to them after it has sat a while and I have revised again.

 on: April 03, 2014, 11:30:21 AM 
Started by chriseboch - Last post by ColoradoKate
I highly recommend her Advanced Plotting book, btw.

Chris, thanks for the link to your guest post.

 on: April 03, 2014, 10:11:24 AM 
Started by chriseboch - Last post by Beth Consugar
Thank you so much Chris!

 on: April 03, 2014, 09:17:06 AM 
Started by chriseboch - Last post by chriseboch
I had a guest post on Joe Konrath's blog recently on "Perfecting Your Plot." In it I give an overview of plotting revision, along with multiple options for plot maps, beat sheets, play exercises and other resources.


And of course, my book Advanced Plotting is all about developing/revising your plot.


See also my "Write like a Pro!" blog for posts on revision and other topics. Scroll down and in the column on the right, you can see links to specific topics.


 on: April 03, 2014, 07:25:39 AM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by judyr
There's a link for the weedy word list under the topic links to help with revision. You have to highlight and right click to get it to work, but it works for me.

 on: April 03, 2014, 05:15:54 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
Children's Writers eNews
April 3, 2014
"The Write Words to Read"
The Institute of Children's Literature
Editor: Jan Fields -- author@janfields.com

We're on Facebook!
“I have rewritten — often several times — every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers.”
— Vladimir Nabokov
1. News
2. Online in Rx
3. At the Writer's Retreat
4. What's New At Kristi's?
4. Market
5. Another Market
6. Essay
7. Good News
1. News
2. In the Rx
Revision: It's Drafty in Here
In honor of April's revision topic in the writer's retreat, here's a great chat on revising.

3. Are You On The Writer's Retreat?

APRIL theme discussion on revision has started.  So consider registering and getting in on the fun!

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. What's New At Kristi's?
Kristi's Writer's First Aid blog always has something to inspire and inform.

Friday, March 28: "Writers: Choose Your Friends Wisely (Part 2)"
Weeding out toxic friends is only part of the equation. You must also develop friendships that support you as a writer. Choose wisely.

Tuesday, April 1: "Writers: Practice What You Preach"
Today's writers are some of the most educated writers ever seen. But we don't always practice what we know is the wisest thing to do. Self-care for writers: it's crucial!

5. Girl's World
Evelyn Christensen contacted the editor and this is what she learned:
They accept fiction for girls of about 1200 words. They pay.
They accept submissions via email mail@girlsworldmag.com
They respond if interested.
For more great kid magazine news, watch the Writing for Children's Magazines Website
6. Frolicking Through Cyberspace
Author Heather Ayris Burnell regularly features agents who represent picture books, plus she has varied interesting and useful posts on craft and inspiration.
7. How do I judge reader age?

Stories and articles for very young children…

___ are read to the child, not by the child.

___ use concrete language and avoid abstract concepts.

___ focus on family situations and the challenges of being small. (fiction)

___ may include talking animal stories where the animal is a “stand-in” for the reader.

___ may mix information with fiction to gently inform while entertaining.

___ depend heavily on illustrations to help tell stories.

___ use nonfiction that is photo driven.

Stories and articles for young readers…

___ use short sentences without complex clauses -- average sentence length rarely exceeds reader age. (Thus, a manuscript targeting 7 year olds would average 7 words or less per sentence.)

___ introduce complex words in context to facilitate young reader understanding.

___ focus on family situations and school. (fiction)

___ include talking animals only in folktales and humorous stories.

___ rarely mix fiction and nonfiction -- information is usually presented in article form.

___ use short paragraphs and fact bites rather than narrative nonfiction.

Stories and articles for intermediate readers…

___ can include both concrete and abstract concepts.

___ often explore personal values. (fiction)

___ feed a voracious appetite for interesting knowledge. (nonfiction)

Stories and article for teens…

___ are often personal experience (nonfiction) or written in first-person (fiction).

___ feature teens (both fiction and nonfiction).

___ often explore personal ethics and society values.

___ are application oriented (nonfiction) rather than knowledge for knowledge sake.
8. Good News

Sherry Alexander: Two more of my articles are in the April issue of Guardian Angel Kids--Flowers That Grow on Volcanoes and The Legend of the Cry in Your Sleep Flower.

Anne E. Johnson: My spooky kids' story, "To Be a Tree," is in the April issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk. You can purchase it here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/421791

Donna Marie Seim: My latest book, CHARLEY,  middle grade, historical fiction, was awarded first prize for Regional Literature by the New England Book Festival. I wrote CHARLEY, during the course, Writing for Children and Teenagers. My mentor for the course was Troon Harrison. CHARLEY is available online and in Bookstores.

Mindy Hardwick: My picture book ap, FINDERS KEEPERS, is now available from MeeGenius Publishing. FINDERS KEEPERS is based on the event in Lincoln City Oregon where glass artists hide glass floats for winter beach walkers to find. You find it, you keep it! This is a great family story for those traveling to the beach.

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
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.

 on: April 02, 2014, 03:17:17 PM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by snow4winter
I'm working on learning a system. (Mine was also read and fix) Snow4winter, have you looked at the weedy word list? It made a major difference for me.

Katie, a question about your system: Do you wait any time between reading through the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th times?

I'm not sure if I have, but it sounds like it would help!  I'll go hunt it down and see!

 on: April 02, 2014, 01:43:56 PM 
Started by judyr - Last post by KatieC
Not exactly a link, but a link to a book. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers helped me tremendously.


 on: April 02, 2014, 12:56:29 PM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by Mikki S
By "read and fix" I meant just reading what you've written and trying to improve. However, after learning about eliminating certain words and phrases, I went through my manuscript chapter by chapter. I highlighted overused words in one color, bad sentence structure and passive verbs in another color, and paragraphs that just didn't sound right in another color. Highlighting them and then going back helped me change a lot.

I don't use the highlighting method, but that is a good way to do it. It seems to me like you're on the right track with your revision process. With the exception of the "agonize" part! I think we all agonize to a certain extent, especially after we submit our wook. After I had sent The Freedom Thief off, I read a blog post by a mulit-published author, and realized that one of the things she said not to do, I had done. Talk about agonizing! But it turned out that it was really nothing, more one author's opinion than anything drastic.

All in all, I think you've got a good system for revision, and if you are comfortable with it, that's all that matters.

 on: April 02, 2014, 11:29:05 AM 
Started by judyr - Last post by judyr
Here are two links I'm using to help with my revision. If you have any please post them.

The weedy words list   institutechildrenslit.com/ms/WORDS.pdf

Active verbs list         http://writershelpingwriters.net/?attachment_id=1545

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