Monday, April 26, 2010

11 Mistakes Beginning Children's Writers Make - The Writer Magazine

I recently attended a children's book writers conference hosted by SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators).  I went into this conference feeling rather proud of myself.  Head held I high, I thought to myself, I am a writer.  I signed the registration sheet, recieved my packet of information, and sat down at one of the big tables, ready for action.  I soaked up the information presented by agents, editors and successful published authors.  I realized when they read my manuscript during the critique session that maybe, just maybe I have more work to do.  I left a little down hearted and not as optimistic as I had been when I entered.  I came home, chucked my entire manuscript.  The manuscrip I thought any publisher in their right mind should publish.  I realized I had a lot of work to do, it's not as easy as most people think!  Now, I find myself drafting and redrafting.    I have gone through almost an entire spiral pad trying to rethink my Easy Reader of not more than 2,000 words.  Not only do I have to make sure that I have a beginning, middle and end - I have to have a plot to capture an 8 year old!  I went on line to some of my favorite writing sites.  I found this great article at the Writer Magazine site:  11 Mistakes Beginning Children's Writers Make .  I went on line and re-read several of the on-line newsletters and advice pages at the Children's Book Insider and I searched the SCBWI website for more help and advice. 

What I have decided, is that I need to take the information and knowledge I have learned - USE IT!  I also need to stay connected with other writers, join critique group, read books like a writer, find books in my genre and read, read, read! Stay away from rhyming or poetry type books unless you're a poet, try to stay away from words that end in "ly".  For instance slowly could be replaced by dawdle.  Use an active voice not a passive voice -- action - action -action.  My head is spinning!  Or should it by my head is twisting around on my neck????

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