Posts Tagged ‘Resources’
To check out Kathy’s great post go to: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com
Posted: 18 Jul 2010 09:30 PM PDT
Even if the summer has kept you from finishing that book you are working on, you can still set a goal to help advance your story. This week pull out one of your works-in-progress and just check for these two things:
Passive or negative voice: Avoid is/was …ed sentence structure and stick to primarily to subject-verb-object patterns to convey action. Do a search for “ed ” to can catch these problems. Also search for “it was”, “it is”, “there is”, “there were”, and “there are” phrases throughout your manuscript. Search for use of the word “not” to help you rephrase negative construction into positive statements.
I am getting to the point in my writing career where school visits/presentations are soon going to be happening. In this presentation, I was looking for the how-to-do a school visit aspect and what I got was a lot of fun. I found myself laughing at Speaker Mike Shoulders as I took in the info.
From personally assisting with a magic trick, to viewing pictures of Mike as a child, to clapping and rapping with my fellow attending writers, Mike Shoulders drew me in. His enthusiasm was contagious. With a wink of the eye, he asked questions of the crowd and used volunteers with props.
During his presentation, Mike talked his books and how they were published.
Micheal shared that he was once told that he would never be an author and that was 12 books ago. His entire presentation was based on the principle of continuing to have hope and not giving up. He explained that the journey for each author is different and that is what makes us all special.
If you want to be an author, Mike says, develop some goals, learn all you can about writing, work with a critique group and/or editor and then, realize the power of your words. Read, read, and read some more. Then, write, write and write some more. Get familiar with the works of those authors that are your idols. Go through their works and find the things that you like and use those techniques in your writing. Go to conferences and workshops. If you see something that you like it is okay to use the technique but not the entire presentation.
Mike’s suggestions include: Use the uniqueness of your personality. Being pro-active. Blog. Guest blog on other’s blogs. Read blogs from people you admire. He added that while some people use mail-outs to solicit opportunities to do school visits, he feels that word of mouth is the biggest way that he gets a school visit.
During a conversation with Mike during a break, he talked about positioning himself around the room to make a contact with all the different people. He explained that a wink and a smile make each person in the room feel like that he is speaking directly to them. Kids and adults alike respond to that personal touch. (I can attest to that.) He said he uses props with kids, like a magic coloring book, to keep their attention. He spoke to me about the use of his voice tone to keep his audience listening. He varies the pitch, tone and voice level.
When I asked him one piece of advice he would want to give to us writers, he said, “Believe in yourself.”
Thanks Mike, I plan on using that advice.
5. Ways to overcome the conflicts
6. Emotional Arc
7. Narrative Arc
In the WORD processing program, you click on “Tools” then on “Word Count.” That will show the number of pages, words, characters, paragraphs and lines in your article or story. But to check the reading grade level, you have to FIRST set it up in the “Options.” Click “Tools,” then click “Options,” then click the “Spelling and Grammar” tab. Put a check mark in the “Check Grammar with Spelling” check box there, and also put a check mark in the “Show Readability Statistics” check box, then click “OK” to close the box. After that, start the Spelling function in Word by clicking “Tools,” then “Spelling and Grammar” and start the spelling/grammar check process. When it finishes, it will display a box about readability, with the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level at the bottom.
|From:||Writer’s Digest (email@example.com)|
|Sent:||Wed 3/31/10 9:54 AM|
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I love this post. My friend Bonnie is not only smart and helpful, she’s funny,too. She co-host two chats on twitter. She co-host with Greg Pincus for #kidlitchat on Tuesdays and is also the co-host of #kidlitart on Thursdays with Wendy Martin.
By Bonnie Adamson
When Peg asked me to guest blog about the unique perspective of a writer/illustrator, I immediately thought of hats. I often talk about wearing my writer hat or my illustrator hat–or my designer hat, since I spent a huge chunk of my professional career as a graphic designer.
I tried to picture myself in these hats, working on a story I wanted to write and illustrate. Were the hats perched one on top of the other? Which one did I put on first?
I realized I had stumbled upon a truth about how I work: I don’t wear more than one hat at a time. With me, it’s first one, then the other.
At this point, I was going to move on to a dance metaphor, but that implies a creative process that is much too elegant and refined.
The truth is, two (or three) areas of my brain are constantly bickering like whiny kids on a long car trip with no onboard DVD player. Squabbling siblings! At last, an analogy I could get behind.
Most of my story ideas come first in the form of words: titles, phrases, rhymes or alliterations, some sort of word play. I should stop here and clarify, because I’ve been known to say that my story ideas start with a drawing, usually a tiny pencil sketch. What happens is that the word-association falls flat and plays dead if I can’t develop some sort of image from it.
So the initial conversation goes something like this:
Writer-brain: Crocodile’s Song!
Illustrator-brain: Cool! Green, bumpy thing holding a microphone.
Writer-brain [let’s call her Gwendolyn]: The other animals—
Illustrator-brain [she likes to be called Pookie]: Wait—OTHER animals? Hard-to-draw animals, like, um, zebras?
Gwendolyn: Zebras! What fun. Let’s go research African wildlife.
Pookie: Hold on: is this a jungle or American Idol? I thought the crocodile was SINGING–ooh, I know! He’s in a tuxedo on the deck of a ship—
Gwendolyn: Don’t be ridiculous. This is a bedtime story about sleepy animals.
Pookie: Hmmph. Sounds boring. Unless . . . we could put all the animals in polka-dot jammies—
Gwendolyn: That would be highly inaccurate.
Pookie: Says you.
At which point the different areas of my brain begin insulting one another, and I go make myself a cup of tea while I consider a different career.
The above conversation is a fairly accurate account of the internal arguments over one idea (titled, oddly enough, “Crocodile’s Song”), which after ten years (!) is still trailing around after me, generating file-folders full of revisions and refusing to earn its keep. Gwendolyn and Pookie have never been able to agree on images to match the words, or words to match the images—which also explains why there are lots of crocodiles and sleepy jungle animals who live in my portfolio and will never find another home.
Occasionally, an idea comes along that both Gwendolyn and Pookie can get excited about. This doesn’t mean that I will end up submitting text and art as a package, but it does mean that I have workable images in my head that help me structure the story: sometimes the images are static, reflecting maybe a particular expression on a character’s face; sometimes they’re more like movies. But once the images are there, I can begin filling in text to support them.
Gwendolyn and Pookie are now feeling pretty smug.
Gwendolyn: Oh, this is the loveliest STORY!
Pookie: Yeah, with DRAGONS, and . . . and STUFF!!
But we haven’t gotten to Grandma’s house yet. (You’ll note how the car-trip metaphor has been cleverly re-introduced.) Cecilia, the bored teenaged older sister (aka designer-brain), has unplugged herself from her iPod.
Cecilia: You two have only 14 spreads max, you know—have you even THOUGHT of thumbnails?
Gwendolyn [pointing at Pookie]: SHE said we didn’t need thumbnails!
Pookie [pointing at Gwendolyn]: Did not! SHE said she had an outline!
Cecilia: Pipe down. I can see I’m going to have to make a dummy.
Gwendolyn & Pookie: Hey! Who are you calling a DUMMY?!?
Full disclosure: Bonnie writes mid-grade novels, chapter books and the occasional picture book. She illustrates other people’s picture books. She has YET to submit a manuscript that she both wrote and illustrated. You can see at least one singing crocodile on her web site: http://www.bonnieadamson.net.
|From:||firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of Jill Corcoran Books (email@example.com)|
|Sent:||Fri 3/05/10 4:08 AM|
As a writer, I know how lousy it is to not get closure, to never hear back from an editor or agent. However, I find the simple act of replying, even with a form decline, multiplied by the amount of queries I receive, is taking time away from my my clients and my family. Hopefully, knowing if I am interested or not within 1 MONTH will compensate for my lack of response.
I look forward to reading your work so keep on querying!
Email Queries Only. NO snail mail.
Please email your query plus the first 10 pages of your manuscript pasted into the body of your email to jill@HermanAgencyInc.com
I ONLY represent Chapter Book, Middle Grade & Young Adult authors.
Ronnie represents Picture Book author/illustrators and illustrators.
I no longer send form declines. If you do not receive an email response to your query + 10 pages within a month, I am sorry but I am not the right agent for your work.
Don’t go emailing Cake Wrecks—that’s how this cake is supposed to look. Scholastic received this photo from a David Shannon fan, Carol B. of Richmond, Va., who made this cake for her son Gilby’s second birthday. Carol took inspiration from the picture book No, David! (1998), about a mischievous boy. David will be back in bookstores later this year, up to his old tricks in a holiday story, It’s Christmas, David! (Scholastic/Blue Sky).
|From:||firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of Writing and Illustrating (email@example.com)|
|Sent:||Fri 2/19/10 10:10 AM|
|Tilbury House PublisherPosted: 18 Feb 2010 09:04 PM PST
Sometimes in our quest to get publish we forget about the smaller publishers out their accepting unsolicited manuscripts and unagented manuscripts. Tilbury House is one of those small publishers. You can go to: http://tilburyhouse.com/books-childrens.htm to look at the books they have published. It looks like they do picture books, biographies, and young middle grade stories with a strong educational focus. See below:
They are primarily interested in children’s picture books (for ages 7-12) that:
Be sure to check out Kathy Temean’s site and finish reading her post on Tilbury Press.