Peg366's Blog

Carol Gorman and Laura Arnold/Possible Mistakes. Part One.

Posted on: May 5, 2010

Part One. 

Carol Gorman @  Carol is available to for school visits and conferences.

The first  of three posts about the presentation given to Iowa Spring Conference goers. Part of my personal goal with my blog is to provide info for others who are less fortunate than I. Any one of my readers might be saying I wish I could go to a conference but there is no money for that.

1.     It is easy I think to fall into making the next mistake talked about by both Carol and Laura. I know I’ve used tired overused phrases to describe what my characters acts like or is feeling. Both ladies suggested using more creative ways of showing how your mc is acting or feeling.

        a.     Rolling eyes

        b.     Raising eyebrows

        c.      Shrugging shoulders

        d.     Throwing hands up in air

2.    The next items on the list are mistakes regarding dialogue.  The general rule is either use “said” most of the time or not use a tag if you can-especially for the young kids. The problem is one most often seen by these two.

“Sure, I’ll do it,” Beth nodded. The correct version should be “Sure, I’ll do it.” Beth nodded. In the first example, Beth nodded is used as a tag but it shouldn’t be.

3.    Writers might have this mistake because they are trying to be “with it.” However anyone who has kids knows how quickly the “it” thing to say changes. Using slang just might date you and your work. Writers need to remember that it takes between two and three years for a book to get published.

4.   Not using certain mechanical elements correctly can be a mistake made by a writer. A writer should not forget to set a name off with the use of a comma in their dialogue.  For example, “Sam would you like a pizza for supper?” asked Katie.  The correct way is “Sam, would you like a pizza for supper?” asked Katie.

5.    Some writers may use the wrong word without even realizing it. They switch words sometimes. Examples of word forms that get switched are: its/it’s, there, their, and they’re.

6.     Another mistake writers sometimes make is run-on sentences or sentence fragments. A fragment might be used in dialogue text but that is rare.

7.    Punctuation is another sticky area for some editors. It is now an industry policy to use one space between each sentence, not two space.  Periods, commas, and questions marks go inside the quotation marks.


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I am an aspiring picturebook writer with some magazine credits just no picture book contract yet. I know it is coming and I am more than willing to work for it.

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July 2009

May 2010
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I love the children's movies Wizard of Oz and the Neverending Story. Both movies make me feel the lesson that hope is alive and well. After seeing UP this past week, it just might have a chance at being added to this list.

I love the cool colors of blues and purples.Those colors are peaceful for me.

I love The Velveteen Rabbit. Even as an adult, I still feel the urge to cry when he becomes real. I know, silly, but a good book can make me laugh and cry as it takes me on a magical journey.

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Authors, Author/Illustrator, Illustrators that I know and/or Like.


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• ShelfTalker: A Children’s Bookseller’s Blog
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• Writing for children and teens

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