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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Writers, This Post’s for You


It’s fast and furious with my first book sitting under the eye of a scrutinous editor.  I do mean this in the best sense.  Instead of telling me what needs to be fixed, she has given it back to me with the same question.  Apparently there’s more than I realized.  I’m learning to answer my own questions and writing with a different eye now, and have Evelyn to thank.  There I was ready to move on to the illustrations and nope, it wasn’t finely tuned.  In fact it really wasn’t near ready!  I was also given writer exercises, with my favorite being go to the library and peruse the early chapter books and mysteries.  Yes, spending more hours at the library than I already do.  Life is good with this living and breathing books mamma.  
One bit of advice for those writing children’s books, don’t get caught up in how long the story should be.  The answer’s simple, as long as it needs to be with not a single word more or less.  Focus on the quality not quantity and then come back later to trim and expand it to meet the format of your particular genre.
I’m not saying size doesn’t matter at all, because it does. We ere only talking books here!  Having an estimated word count for some helps break things down in manageable tasks.  Just as long as you don’t let this constrict creativity.  It would be sufficed to say this advice works best with youth reads not so much for picture books.
It’s a good idea when planning or trimming to see where your word count compares with existing books on the market today.  If you want to become popular in a certain genre, there are patterns.  Use these to pace your stories.  Strong descriptive writing and dialogue goes along way for any age reader.  In an extensive search I’ve found general word counts for varying kinds of children’s books below: 
500-1000 words: Picture Books
1000-1800 words:  Non-fiction Picture Books
1,000-2,000 words: Picture Story Books
600-800 words:  Easy Readers
700-1,000 words:  Hi-Lo Books
6,000-10,000 words:  Chapter Books
15,000-25,000 words:  Mid-grade Novels
30,000-60,000 words:  Young Adult Novels 
 
If you’re still here, much appreciated! This post is mainly to help those in the biz of writing.  My romp has taken many twists and turns and I want to share with you the entire journey.  And this my friends is a part of the process ;-)  I know you will be overjoyed when my adorable adventurous second grader comes to life in the pages.
Enjoy these  inspiring writer quotes.
 
 

Last Note:  I’m beginning to accept, my little guy won’t be home with me forever.  Okay so he’s a 6 ft 3 basketball player, but he will always be my “little” boy.   As the college visits are under way he tried out for the Blinn College basketball team last weekend and now we are waiting to hear if he’s on the team.   Can not believe this summer my oldest kiddo is moving away from home.  Where have the days of snuggling and watching Zabumafu gone?  That was the talking lemur on the Kratts Brothers show.  (He's the one on your left, the other one is my 7th grader)
 
And what ever happened to the Upside Down Show with the two hysterical Australian guys?  It would be nice to see some of the old shows come back, as now everything has gone so multicultural.  And no thanks to the communist Dora The Explorer, Ni Hao-Kai-Lan was bumped.
 

Little Reader’s Easy Reads
 
The Kite Princess
By Bell, Juliet Clare
 
 
 
Do you have an aspiring princess in the house?  If so introduce them to Cinnamon Stitch.  A not your typical princess, as she’s a little tomboyish not wanting to be bothered with anything fancy.   Though her King and Queen parents do pressure Cinnamon to act like a proper princess, she just wants to be a typical kid.  And where does the kite come in?  Let’s just say she makes a beautiful kite that carries her to freedom.  I love it when authors nail the metaphorical part of things in their stories.  You’ll see what I mean after reading it ;-)
The instructions for making a kite made it even better.  But I found an super simple tutorial we are going to use to make our kite this afternoon.  I’ll share pictures when done and up in the air!  
 
Ball
By Mary Sullivan
 
 
 
Calling all dog lovers!  A whimsical look at how our four legged friends are obsessed with toy balls.  This book is a cartoon version of our Boggle pup.  And for those of you that don’t know what a Boggle is.  It’s a cross of a Beagle and a Boxer. 
 
Little Miss Muffet
By Trapani, Iza
 
 
 
The Illustrations take the cake in this well known nursery rhyme.  What a day for the Little Miss Muffet as she goes from one scary experience to the next.  Keeping the same beat, the author has added more verses capturing the multiple fears of this little girl.  Arachnophobia at it’s best!
 
The Fantastic Mr. Wani
By Usui, Kanako
 
 
Wani the crocodile is on a mission to be on time for the party.  But what should be a simple journey, turns about to be a series of mishaps.  Our favorite detour was the balloon popping crow… Kanako really knows how to pack imagination into a simple sweet story and can’t wait to see what she does next ;-) 
 
Little Reader’s Big Girl Reads - (Junior Fiction)
 
Three Tales of My Father's Dragon
By Ruth Stiles Gannett
 
 
 
A copulation of three books centered on the relationship of a boy named Elmer and his baby dragon named Boris.  This 1940,s classic is an adventure with pictures on almost every page and with its short chapters makes it great for those new to this reading level.  Very imaginative with names like Tangerina Island and also how better a way to trick dragons captures using pink lollipops and chewing gum.  It took us a while to get through this lengthy one, but worth every moment.  - Two weeks to be exact!
 
Airy Fairy: Magic Mischief!
By Ryan, Margaret
 
 
 
Airy Fairy is the lowest performing student at Gropplethorpes Academy For Good Girls. Her punishment is having to sit on the Christmas tree of a very unhappy family and use her magic spells to get things the way they should be.  Nope, it’s not going to be that easy with the mischievous Scary Fairy trying to mess things up for her.  Can Airy Fairy save the family and make it to the school Christmas party?  A delightfully written tale perfect for early chapter readers and the “scratchy” pictures work wonders.
   We are working through the series.
 
http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Music-Airy-Fairy-Books/dp/0764134272/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398956275&sr=1-1&keywords=Magic+Music%21+airy+fairy       http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Muddle-Airy-Fairy-Margaret/dp/0764131877/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398956352&sr=1-1&keywords=Magic+muddle+airy+fairy       http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Mistakes-Airy-Fairy-Margaret/dp/0764134264/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398956453&sr=1-1&keywords=Magic+mistakes+airy+fairy      http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Mess-Airy-Fairy-Margaret/dp/0764131885/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398956506&sr=1-1&keywords=Magic+mess+airy+fairy
 
Ell Ray Jakes Is Not A Chicken
By Warner, Sally
 
 
 
Third grader Ell Ray may be small in size, but not in heart.  Oh, and he is no chicken.  A light read where this one little boy takes bullying into his own hands, rather than his involving parents and other adults to work it out.  Great lesson teaching kids to take responsibility for often difficult situations. 
Little Reader liked the doodles, but that’s about it.  She didn’t want to continue after the first few pages, so I took it on by myself…  Probably a better choice for a 9 to 10 year old boy.  She’s all about the girly reads, but I try to slip a few of these in anyway! 
 
_____________________________________________________
 
“Mom, I want to do your job when I grow up. 
You make stuff up and get to blow bubbles when you want.”  
 
Author - Little Reader
   

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