Sunday, May 15, 2011

"How To Write A Novel for Children Or Young Adult Readers," by Heather C Matthews

Every newbie author dreams of becoming the next J.K. Rowling or Roald Dahl. However, writing a children's book can be harder than it seems. Creating a story that resonates with kids or young adult readers is a challenging task. If you're determined to create a true work of art (and to get your book published!), this article will be a great way to start. Here are some tips and tricks you'll need to master before you become the author you dream of being!

* Write A Detailed Outline - Most fledgling authors simply sit down and begin to write...often, this approach can lead to frustration. Since half the battle is actually finishing a novel, you should get organized - right from the start. Crafting a full outline, which includes character names, plot twists, settings, and a chapter-by-chapter analysis of the storyline, can be the best way to organize your thoughts and make your ideas more cohesive. By working through issues at the outset, you'll be able to put together a working outline that allows you to research, refine, and brainstorm your artistic vision.

* Consider The Marketplace - Look at what's selling...how does YOUR potential storyline fit into the current marketplace? Obviously, novels like the Harry Potter series, the Twilight Series, and the Lemony Snicket series are hot sellers that meet young reader's needs. Do a little market research, and be certain publishers are interested in your story type. There is always room for a great novel, no matter what it's about, but your chances of getting published skyrocket when you take the marketplace into account. Be smart and get your ducks in a row...choose characters and settings that are proven winners. Then, add your own originality and special writing style into the mix!

* Learn About Queries - Once you've begun to write your story, you should also start to think about what you'll need to do to get it out there in front of the public. Part of being an author is understanding that getting published and promoting your work is largely your responsibility! Today, getting an agent is tougher than ever before. You need to know how to write a concise, engaging query letter to agents and/or publishers. Luckily, the Internet is a rich resource - Google and learn more about the best ways to get the attention of the publishing industry. By the time you're finished your masterpiece, you'll be ready for action! Remember, rejection is part of the business. Even Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone was rejected 12 times before it found a home! Believe in yourself and don't give up.

* Find A Critique Partner - Lots of writers use author's groups, message boards, and critique partners to go deeper into the writing process. Look for a fellow author who can act as a sounding board for your work-in-progress! Once you've found a great person to work with, send sample chapters and ask for honest feedback. Even kids can be wonderful test readers for your first novel! Of course, if you really believe in your story, you should stay close to your original vision! However, valuable feedback can help you move forward and create something every child wants to read!

Being a children's book author can be fulfilling and lucrative...it just takes a lot of work and passion. You can do it!

About the author:

Heather C. Matthews is a published author and freelance writer based in Vancouver, BC. Her current children's novel, a young adult fantasy book, The Secret Of The Emerald Sea, is for sale at Amazon, Fictionwise, and OmniLit.


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2 comments:

Laura O in AK said...

Great post with plenty to consider. When I did NaNoWriMo last year, I tried the free flowing approach. I met my word goal and have a storyline started. However, I'm now going back and doing the outline so I can have it all flow well and then fit in some research to make sure it all rings true.

daniel pattinson said...

Wow.this is an interesting post.I have been looking for this kind of posts for a long time.Really find interesting and insightful.Thanks for sharing.
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