|© Julie H. Ferguson 2012|
- There's no perfect kid's book - just do your best. Good timing, some luck, and a fresh idea all play their part, to say nothing of reaching a good acquisition editor who's looking.
- Kids love rhyme; publishers, not so much.
- Read hundreds of books in your category.
- Young adult fiction tackle tough subjects these days and many YAs are also read by adults.
- Kidlit is sold to adults and written for children.
- If you write for girls and your protagonist is a girl, be sure to have a boy alongside her in your story.
- Study boys as well as girls.
- Boys love dystopia and horror and publishers are looking for male protagonists.
- Stories/books do not emerge fully formed. They start with small germs (ideas).
- Lois provided us with a way to capture all these germs on a chart. Connect each germ with an emotion.
- Children's authors are scavengers - attuned to finding story germs.
- If you don't have kids in your life as a parent or grandparent, read children's magazines in the library to learn what is captivating/worrying them today.
- Once your story germ(s) are fleshed out, start writing and let your creativity flow without judgment.
- If you can't sell your picture book idea, sell it as a story in kids' magazines.
- Use several tools to enhance your storytelling. E.g. the Hero's Journey, three act structure, and Freytag's Triangle for escalating tension.
- Have a system for analysing your first draft and then revise, revise, revise. Lois offered her unique reverse outline, a method that she's developed. (Will work for any fiction.)
|Image via Wikipedia|
Lois's blog is at http://lpwords.blogspot.com/
QUESTION: If you were at the workshop, what did you find most valuable?