Here is a copy of my working notes. Thoughts behind the information I am choosing as I write this book. I think you will find it invaluable. Wish I'd had this information from the greats. Would have been very handy at school.
My Childrens Book is about…A boy who wants to be an adult but loses his little sister to a world occupied with unnatural beings and a beast from the past who wants her and his family dead.
The hero/heroine does this…After ignoring his sister’s cry for help, he follows her into the woods
And this happens…where he meets the animals of the woods, unaware of their own special gifts that will need to be drawn on at the end to defeat a great beast. Each animal and its gift will represent a gift within the boy himself
The message of the book is…you have to face your fears alone but together you will overcome them. There is more to being a grown up than just getting what you want.
Conflict is created by…the boy facing his fear of the woods, his fear of the animals, the attack from the beast. Convincing the animals that he is there to help. Overcoming his reluctance to join a ‘family’ or ‘team’ with the same goal.
In the end it all work out / goes wrong because… he finds his sister, joins with her to defeat the beast, reveals his mother’s secret. the animals and the boy will join forces together to battle the great beast and defeat it and return the woods to its natural state. The boy will become part of the animal family and no longer fear them or their habitat. He will be at one with Nature and at one with himself
Chapter 1 - Nick runs from parents to be a grown up
The Opening – a change, problem or transformation. (Slavery). (Page 1-2)
Protector of little sister but does not want to protect. Has moved to new school and parents tell him to look after her.
Nick is bashed at new school because he is his sister’s older brother. She has a disability (later when she is an owl it will not exist. She cannot walk but when she becomes an Owl she can fly. Thus she chooses to stay in the woods and we can see why) and they take out their prejudice on him. He wishes he were stronger, less afraid, more like an adult. More like Mr Turtle (to become animal mentor), the groundsman who was always carrying something heavy on his back. He must be strong. (when Nick sits on the turtles back he will be yet another thing for the mentor to carry)
Genre - Fantasy – many of these books are based on other genres such as legend, fairytale, or school stories, but given a modern twist. It will have a fabulous beast and magic and a battle between good and evil. The central character has to be believable and realistic. The reader must be able to recognize the thoughts, feelings and actions of the main protagonist for the story to have any credibility. There will be a hero who sets out to overcome evil. Along the way he/she will be helped by some characters, misled or entrapped by others. He/she will gain knowledge or tools which will enable them to overcome evil. There will be moments when all appears lost until the ultimate victory of good over evil. Fantasy stories can and often do include quests. The reader will follow the trials of the protagonist, share his disappointments and frustrations, worry about how to overcome difficulties and celebrate victories. Quest/ adventure stories where the special gifts turn out to be qualities that the reader already has or will develop work really well
Day 12 – September 2013
You need to proofread your work and check for obvious mistakes. One way to do this is to print out sections in isolation and go through them as if they were completely independent pieces of writing. If it helps, you can start with the last page and work backwards. Read the story out loud to check for any blips or problems you may have overlooked. If possible, try to get someone else to read the story out loud to you.
Days 12 to 14 – September 2013
How to write strong openings – including 10 tips to make your openings the best they can be.
The last word on character building – with printouts to help you grow your own Character Fact File
More than eight different techniques for creating and holding suspense
Tips and tricks for writing dialogue that reveals information or moves the story forward. And don’t forget to do the Dialogue Writing Exercise?
A clever way to write endings that will help to hold your story together.
Options for writing a sequel or making a serial from your story.
Tips on creating your own Story File to help with this story and the next.
The MAGIC formula to work out your story’s message, potential audience, genre, narrative structure (including chapter lengths), sequence of events, suspense graph, and to sketch in a basic character tree. We’ve taken this information and used it to write openings and endings, add depth to characters, turn description into dialogue, and pull those chapters together.
The next step in the process involves editing your work, checking for mistakes and turning that rough draft into a finished product.
The next two days will help you take what you’ve written and add the finishing touches. Your story NEEDS to be edited, no matter how good you think it is. Is there someone you know and trust who can help you? A fresh pair of eyes can sometimes spot mistakes that you might skim over.
Editing is what can turn a good story into a great one.
Day 11 – 11 September 2013
You need to consider the ending of your story. You create a series of characters AND a story. The characters are strong enough to exist separately from a single story. Any story in which the characters are strong enough can become the springboard for a sequel or spin-off. But it’s not always necessary. Sometimes stories need to be wrapped up and put away. When that’s the case, you need to make sure they come to a definite end. Every story is different, and every ending should be, too. That’s a good thing, because it allows writers to be creative and imaginative.
Speaking of being creative and imaginative, keep track of all your good ideas by keeping a Story File. Write down everything that comes to mind, whether it’s a character, a plot, a scene, and ending, or anything else you think you could turn into a children’s story. You’ll be surprised how useful it will prove to you over the years. You can use a pen, a cell phone, ipad etc. Whatever works for you, do it. There are no rules, except the rule that you should keep your ideas somewhere for future use. And if you run out of story ideas, How to write a Children’s book in 14 days or less lists some great places to look for new ones. It doesn’t matter where you get your ideas from, as long as you get them. If you incorporate strong characters whose words and actions create and resolve conflict in one way or another, then it can be a great story. Write down/type up any ideas for turning the story you’re working on NOW into a series, or adding a sequel. Just make notes and then leave it until this story is done. Now it’s time to get the manuscript ready for editors and publishers to see. Have you purchased your copy of How to write a Children’s book in 14 days or less? If you have, and you’ve done all the exercises and completed all the worksheets then you should now have the bare bones of a children’s book before your eyes. If you have not purchased the guide, do so now. I will be working on the things I’ve neglected so far in order to create a solid draft to edit. You can follow my work on the My Writing page of my website.
Day 10 – 9 September 2013
Endings. The knack with good endings is that they shouldn’t rely on too many tricks. Arouse curiosity. Once curiosity is aroused, the reader is hooked. One way to do this is to hint at information that will be revealed in the next chapter or two.
Children love surprises; as long as they really ARE surprises and not so contrived as to seem completely implausible. Endings with a twist in the tail are hard to pull off. You have to be clever and possibly hold something back until the final moment. If the twist in the tail appeals to you, you can use it in any place in your story, and not only at the end. It’s a device that might help build suspense towards one of your main climax points, or perhaps it might even serve as a climax point in itself. Whatever you decide, try to make sure it’s a real twist and not something totally unconnected with the rest of the story. Rather than trying to write endings in isolation, you can tailor your endings so they fit exactly in with the rest of your story. How to write a Children’s book in 14 days or lessshows you how to do it.
Day 9 – 6 September 2013
To be believable, characters need to act and talk like real people.
One of the best, easiest and most satisfying ways to find out about characters is through the things they say. Characters are revealed by the things they say and the words they use. The word “ain’t” would mark a character as either a lazy man or one whose education is minimal.
Dialogue gives you the perfect opportunity to let your characters reveal themselves to the reader.
“Question and answer” dialogue should be avoided at all costs. It simply bounces from one character to another like the warm-up session before a tennis match. Dialogue isn’t just “dialogue” – it’s conversation. To make your characters seem realistic and life-like, you have to let them speak to each other. Another reason for dialogue is to give readers information in a way that moves the plot forward. Sometimes you’ll want to slow the story down, especially after ta big climax. That’s when descriptive narrative is useful and even necessary. Dialogue can do even more for your story. It can be used as a method of passing information. It can be used as a revelation device. In How to write a Children’s book in 14 days or less we are given a writing exercise to help you see how dialogue can bring your story to life.
Finally though; you should remember that if you write your story down quickly, in the form of descriptive text, you can always rework it later into dialogue. The important thing is to get the story down first, then worry about polishing it up later.
Day 8 – 5 September 2013
Before you can talk about suspense, you need to be very clear what suspense is. It’s not about what IS happening, but about what’s GOING to happen.
Put your characters into situations of conflict, and you create suspense.
The secret to keeping readers turning the pages is to create a sense of anticipation by hinting at what’s still to come. And the only way the reader can find out what the narrator is hinting at is by reading further. You can also create suspense in your titles.
In How to write a Children’s book in 14 days or lessyou are shown a further 8 suggestions to help pull readers along and keep them riveted to the page. Remember ‘Actions have consequences’, even in books. The consequences should be serious enough to make readers will he hero on to succeed. Try leaking information. Secrets make people want to read on. Don’t forget that your story happens in time.
Employ the power of 3 to make sure your tale has enough depth and variety to pull readers along and keep them interested. 3 obstacles your hero must overcome. 3 climax points. 3 lists.
Day 7 – 4 September 2013
Not all of your characters have to be larger than life; they just have to be life-like, or, in other words, realistic.
Make your characters Real. Not all characters are people but the same rules should apply. If one of the main characters is a pig for instance, then it must behave like a pig.
On the other hand, you might decide to give your book a new twist by writing about someone (or some thing) that DOESN’T behave the way we expect them to. Like a pig who’s a clean freak.
In order for your story to hold the attention of your readers, your characters have to be a mixture of what you might call Types. There are all kinds of people in this world and that’s what makes it so interesting. All of your characters should be different in some way from each other. All you need to get going initially is some idea about the number of characters you want and their most important traits. The How to write a Children’s book in 14 days or lessgives some examples of good strong characters that are easily recognisable and memorable. You will have read many of the books referred to.
You must flesh out a character tree. Strong characters have to be three-dimensional.
Describe your character’s outward appearance
Show your character through actions
Make your character come alive and communicate
Give your character some attitude.
Day 6 (Cont.) – 29 August 2013
Make a list of chapter headings with what you know is going to be in each chapter. Start with Chapter 1 how your book opens and Chapter 20? How your book ends
CHAPTER 1 – OPENING
Sam’s seat stayed empty as loved ones sat to watch their children swim. Sam’s race was called. He jumped to his feet and hastily approached the starting block. He was keen, I’ll give him that. Maybe this new school was just what he needed. “On your mark” announced the Starter. All was silent. For the briefest of moments it appeared as though he would take the plunge. Then “Bang!”
The cheers of the crowd were all that could be heard. The splash of water hit Sam smack in the face and ran down his cheeks like tears. He watched as the ‘cool’ kids swam away, toward their personal victory. He watched as their parent’s screamed support with eyes following them all the way. Then, trembling with fear he turned from the pool and walked away as if he’d never been there.
CHAPTER 4 – ENDING
Sam swam toward the school. The animals watched him all the way and cheered as he reached his destination.
What will the three peaks or climaxes in your story contain?
1 Climax – Villain attacks the woods and animals within
2 Climax – Hero and animals attempt to fight Villain individually
3 Climax – All come together in battle to defeat the villain
Go back to your outline and write down three openings.
1. Pushing through the crowd of parents, away from the water’s edge, Sam paused to pick up a pair of swimming goggles and passed them to Michael
2. The gun fired and they dove in, Parents cheering at the edge. Sam collected their towels with his feet and returned alone to his tent. “I’ve got their towels” he said to Mrs Smith and waited for her confirmation. She did not acknowledge him.
3. Sam’s seat stayed empty as loved ones sat to watch their children swim. Sam’s race was called. He jumped to his feet and hastily approached the starting block. He was keen, I’ll give him that. Maybe this new school was just what he needed. “On your mark” announced the Starter. All was silent. For the briefest of moments it appeared as though he would take the plunge. Then “Bang!”
Once you know what a chapter is about, take three main words and use them to write the opening section.
CH 1. Acknowledgement, Deception, Acceptance
CH 2. Strength, Support, Bravery
CH 3. Betrayal, Understanding, Unity
CH 4. Family, Friends, Renewal, Regeneration
Day 6 – 28 August 2013 Notes
How important is the title of your book? It could be the very reason why a child wants to read it in the first place. Jot down around 10 working titles.
Children are fearless critics, they won’t read on to find out if the book gets any better.
Magic is encapsulated in the fact that the authors throw the children straight into the story with interesting, puzzling, curious or bizarre beginnings. And you should do the same.
How to write a children’s book in 14 days or less contains Ten top tips for writing openings that will grip your readers and keep their eyes firmly on the page
Every Chapter is a new beginning
Make a list of chapter headings with what you know is going to be in each chapter
Start with Chapter 1 how your book opens and Chapter 20? How your book ends
What will the three peaks or climaxes in your story contain? A fight scene? An abduction? Etc
Keep things simple – 2 characters max
With just three words, Roald Dahl introduces the character, throws us straight into the story, reveals the problem, arouses curiosity, and creates conflict: Sophie couldn’t sleep. As openings go, it doesn’t get much simpler than that. A good writer has to be able to deliver strong openings over and over again.
It’s not always necessary to give your chapters headings.
Don’t forget your target audience. Publishers will want to know that YOU know who your market is.
Go back to your outline and write down three openings. Now do the same with the other main chapters
Anyone can TALK about writing a book, but it’s only people who actually sit down and WRITE that will get one written. So this is exactly what I am currently doing. Stay tuned for my openings.
26th August 2013
I've changed the story over the weekend to be more in line with the younger audience that I had planned on. This is the new sequence...
1. Hero moves to a new school and wants to fit in. He has a fear of water and can’t swim
2. Warned not to play with “those boys” because they go to the edge of the woods and swim in the water hole
3. Wants to fit in so goes with them anyway and meets the villain
4. Villain knocks down a tree to land across the water and allows the boys access to the woods.
5. Hero tells villain of his electronic sound wave invention that can allow him to walk in water.
6. Villain appears to side with boy and says he needs to use the invention to help the animals caught on the other side of the falls. His real desire is to find the princess.
7. He offers hero the ability to be cool by exchanging the invention for something powerful (later to be used by hero against the villain)
8. Villain uses boys invention against the woods to clear a path to the princess of the forest who resides under the falls and has been safe from the Villain because of his fear of water.
9. Boy must get his invention back. Does not care to be cool anymore
10. Boy must go deep into woods to find the villain and retrieve his invention
11. He is tested by the animals he meets along the way
12. Obstacles prevent him from seeing his true inner strength, his “coolness”
13. Learns of the princess of the forest. Gains support from Animals
14. The owl hints at the princess being related to him and tells where she is
15. The villain appears and the animals and the boy attempt to fight it each on their own, without unity.
16. The hero is badly wounded
17. The princess of the woods finds him and nurses him back to health
18. She reveals the story behind the Villains plan and her role in protecting the forest. He learns that the Villain is actually from the City like him.
19. They begin to track the Villain back toward the City with help from tracker animals
20. Tracker animals lead them both into a trap but the twist is that they knew this and had planned for it
21. Hero faces the beast again, but this time he is not alone
22. The princess is his sister and together they are strong. She summons the animals and they all come together to defeat the beast
23. The boy gains what he truly desired all along; to be part of a family
24. The beast is consumed by an eddy and sucked into the ground
25. The boy returns to the city across the bridge made by the villain and now has access to the forest and his friends
Alternative 'Older' Story
Sam comes from the country, goes to city, then back to country. In country he does not fit in, has no friends, bullied etc. In city he gets caught up in a gang and finds some identity. Is given a place of honour but it is false because it goes against his nature. He learns something and can then return to the country.
From bush to city…
Where the smell of petrol fumes is replaced by the buz of electric motor vehicles (will need to revert to petrol car later in story) and the sound of pan pipes singing in the wind is replaced with the whistling sound of trains passing on air, without tracks.
The familiar roar of the forest animals is replaced by tractors and excavators eating the earth beneath them in preparation for the concrete trees that fill the skyline. Yes this place was foreign to Sam. Foreign as the warning delivered to him when last he visited the woods of home. “A man should not face the world alone”
Now Sam had been in the city for …(time to show many example of him ignoring the warning)
Day 5 – 23 August 2013
Your readership will determine the length of your book, as well as the length of the chapters. The older your readership is, the longer the chapters will be.
For the younger reader I will take each main section and create 4 chapters
Chapter 1: Opening and all events leading to the first climax
Chapter 2: All events from the first climax to the second climax
Chapter 3: All events from the second climax to the third climax
Chapter 4: All events following the third and final climax, leading to the story’s conclusion.
For the older reader I will have 25 chapters with each chapter being one event in my story sequence.
How many chapters I’ll need
How long the chapters will be
What main events should happen in each chapter
Where and when chapters should begin and end
The next section of (“How to write a Children’s book in 14 days or less”) addresses Pictures in books and using rhyme & verse but I won’t go into that here, other than to say; you need to tailor your story so that each section of text refers to an event that can be easily illustrated. Also, that most people would advise you to avoid writing in verse for children, as publishers tend to shy away from accepting it. However, verse can be cool, if you do it right.
So I have now reached the point at which I can begin the building blocks of my children’s story. I have decided on my message and written it into a Story Outline. I have worked out who my audience will be (I hope). I have chosen the point of view and selected my Genre. I’ve sketched out a Character Tree, pencilled in a Sequence of Events on a Suspense Graph, and decided the number of chapters. I now have all the raw materials needed to turn my ideas into the perfect children’s story.
22/08/2013 - Day 5 Pending. I apologise for the lack of update. I have been dealing with some personal issues but will be back on track very shortly. I've actually hit a snag with my children's book and welcome your input. I am targeting an age group of 12 and up but am writing a story about Animals in a forest; it doesn't work. So I either change the age group and loose the underlying theme ofself control and self discovery, or I get rid of the animals and the forest. The the second option would change the setting to be Urban City and the animals would become human personifications as the hero attempts to find his/her place in a foreign environment. I like the animals though and the quest feels like the story of Pinocio which I also like. So please tell me which you would like to read. I feel like perusing both options. Two Children's stories in 14 days??? Lol. What do you think?
Day 4 – 20 August 2013
Characters, Setting and Plot today! Each Character’s role in the story – not the characters themselves is defined so that I can turn them into unique individuals. Refer to your copy of “How to write a Childrens book in 14 days or less” for the list. Make a Character tree; your main character can’t exist in isolation. You have to ensure your hero lives in a world surrounded by other people (or animals, fairies, ghosts etc).
Setting. Characters need to be situated in time and place. It is best to keep your setting simple. Use your setting and your characters relationship to that setting to convey character. So your story needs a setting, should not include huge chunks of description, and setting information should be combined with plot and character development. Now to storyline…
There are 7 Basic Storylines listed in “How to write a Childrens book in 14 days or less”. No matter how detailed or convoluted your plot becomes, the underlying structure of your story will be one of these. The book also describes Twenty Basic Plots
Plot. A riveting story should contain three major climaxes, with the third providing some resolution. As you lead your reader up to each climax you need to build and sustain suspense to keep them turning the pages. We are shown exactly how to do this in the next two sections of the book. Have you downloaded your copy yet?
Characters = Turtle. Mongoose. Bear. Tiger. Owl. Wizard or Fairy. Boy/Girl hero. Dragon or Pan. Snake.
Villain = A dragon or Pan. And Snake
The Donor (Mentor) = This is the fairy who visits him in the beginning or the Turtle he meets in the woods. Or the Owl. This is the character who gives the hero a magical object (the Syrinx) to enable him to fulfil the quest and win the hand of the beautiful princess.
The (Magical) Helper = The Mongoose, Turtle, Bear and Tiger
The Princess & Her Father = The Boy/Girl who is a victim of Pan (their own sexuality) They must confront their panic and overcome it through helping others and the love that creates. Syrinx
The Dispatcher = The Owl
The Hero or Victim/Seeker Hero = thinks he is helping the animals and searches for a way to do so but is searching for answers that will save the animals and doesn’t realise that he is actually searching for answers that will save him. Seeks answers to who he really is. The animals show his many different sides. He is becoming a man/woman. Must desire something so badly that he will go to any length to get it. Same thing that pan desires? the nymph Syrinx?
False Hero/Anti-hero/Usurper = Pan (appears as an Ally initially whilst the beast is hidden. Eventually revealed as the beast. Is the representation of the boys inner desires that he hides from himself and must be overcome.
Central Character = Boy/Girl. Name could be Sam so that it is either sex and never referred to as male or female.
Family members = Mother (none) Father (none) Siblings (none) Extended family (none)
Friends = dog (translates?)
Rival or enemy = Pan, Snake
Other friends = Thomas the Turtle, Mongoose, Bear
Other Animals = Owl, Tiger
Adventure story for young adults set in the forest on verge of civilisation with turtle, owl etc delivering the message that puberty is natural but a life that consisted of only panic sex leads to heartbreak, regret and lack of family.
My basic storyline is “Child versus Self” with an element of “Child versus nature”
Knowing which of the storylines to follow is one thing; but you also have to know why things happen in the story. That’s what the twenty basic plots can give us.
The sequence of a strong story
1. The Opening – a change, problem or transformation
2. Hero given a warning. “Slow down, steady does it”
3. Hero ignores warning . Introduce Villain. Show Pan seeking Syrinx
4. Villain gets involved with victim. Victim here would be Syrinx (object of hero’s desire).
5. Victim gives Villain information without meaning to
6. Villain deceives the victim
7. Victim tricked into helping villain. Reveals location of a magical place beyond the city ie forest
8. Villain acts in a way that is harmful such as kidnapping, destroying, killing (first climax in story) Pan creates panic in the forest
9. The hero has to act. Sam must go to the forest to save the animals that he has put in danger.
10. Hero leaves home and begins journey Journey through the forest until lost
11. Hero is tested meets turtle whoshows him steadiness and takes him to meet the bear. He must follow slowly but does not. He races ahead and…
12. Hero must overcome obstacles Encounters the snake on the way. Snake seduces him through sleep (wet dream) and he must awaken before being swallowed. He meets the mongoose.
13. Hero acquires knowledge, power or support from others A symbol was presented in his dream that will help him down the track. The turtle and mongoose take him to meet the Tiger who represents power in the forest. They meet the bear along the way and after speaking with the Tiger, they seek out the Owl for guidance
14. Hero reaches and accomplishes the first task of the journey the Owl was expecting him and explains the threat posed to the animals by the presence of Pan.
15. Hero and villain join in battle (second climax) Pan appears and throws the animals into chaos. They begin to turn on each other and …
16. Hero is wounded, imprisoned or defeated
17. A friend or helper (unexpected) assists the hero’s recovery, escape or return. The villain is temporarily set back. The Owl displays magical powers to assist the hero
18. Hero learns information about the villains plan Pan plans to seduce/kill Syrinx.
19. Hero pursues the villain or the villain pursues the hero
20. Hero is deceived by a false helper
21. Hero faces a difficult trial or task
22. A surprise turn of events or villain exhibits a flaw Hero becomes aware that the flute is the Syrinx and is able to use it …
23. Hero completes task and defeats villain (third and final climax) Uses the pan flute to unite the animals against Pan without them panicking.
24. Villain is punished Pan is swallowed up by the ground and can no longer be seen. The flute falls into the hole also?
25. The ending. Hero is rewarded. Pan can be heard but not seen and the hero walks away with the animals gathering around him as his new family. He no longer needs the Syrinx to fulfil his desires.
Day 3 - 18th August 2013
Genre - What Type of Book to Write
Adventure story - usually includes an element of risk or physical danger as their main theme. They can be hard to categorize because they often overlap with other genres such as fantasy, mystery, science fiction, romance and historical stories. The protagonist must face his fears in order to survive or to save others. Although the surface emphasis is on physical activity, the underlying qualities of bravery, loyalty, resourcefulness and determination are the real focus. These will be the animals that my hero meets along the way.
Horror story - has the main character wind up in a remote location or isolated from society. Basically an ordinary kid gets involved in something scary.
Fantasy – many of these books are based on other genres such as legend, fairytale, or school stories, but given a modern twist. It will have a fabulous beast and magic and a battle between good and evil. The central character has to be believable and realistic. The reader must be able to recognize the thoughts, feelings and actions of the main protagonist for the story to have any credibility. There will be a hero who sets out to overcome evil. Along the way he/she will be helped by some characters, misled or entrapped by others. He/she will gain knowledge or tools which will enable them to overcome evil. There will be moments when all appears lost until the ultimate victory of good over evil. Fantasy stories can and often do include quests. The reader will follow the trials of the protagonist, share his disappointments and frustrations, worry about how to overcome difficulties and celebrate victories. Quest/ adventure stories where the special gifts turn out to be qualities that the reader already has or will develop work really well.
Point of View – the trick is to be that child right from the beginning of the book. You get involved in the story easily when it’s written in the 1 person: it reads like a diary or journal. There is no law against using any point of view you wish, as long as you feel you’re able to sustain it for the course of your story. Just ask yourself who’s telling the story. If it’s the main character, use 1 person. If it’s a narrator who doesn’t appear in the story, use the 3 person. And if you really want to be different, try using 2 person POV.
Finding your voice – The reader must feel that you genuinely care about the subject of your book. Try to find a way to put your story across that is unique to you. The voice you use must match the purpose of your writing. The trick to finding and sustaining your unique voice is to write as much and as often as you can.
A children’s story is predominantly dialogue and action. Let your characters do the talking for you. Instead of using adjectives to describe people, use their actions and speech to convey the information. The important thing to remember is, no matter who you write for, you must KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. A good children’s story needs great characters whose words and actions lead the readers through the plot. Get this right, and the rest will fall into place.
So my story is going to be in the category of ADVENTURE with a sub-genre of FANTASY. Because the genre is Adventure, the story will be set in The Present. My characters will speak Animal English and the story will be told by a narrator using the 3 person point of view. The narrator will be in the story but we won’t know that till the end.
DAY 2 - 16th August 2013
Choosing my age group – the decision-making process about the audience for my book.
The length and format of children’s books differ for various age groups and types of readers
I’m struggling to decide between Easy Readers 6-8yrs, 32-64 pages long with colour illustrations on every page and broken into chapters. An average of 2-5 sentences a page.
Transition Book 6-9yrs, 30 pages split into 2-3 page chapters with Black and White illustrations
But I may actually end up writing a Middle Grade book for age 8-12yrs with a length of 100-150 pages with few illustrations and subplots involving secondary characters and more sophisticated themes. Yes I think I’ll do this one.
Children of this age want to read about a child who successfully overcomes the problems in the plot without adult intervention.
Okay so at the end of the day I have decided to write either a Middle Grade book for an age group of 9-10yr olds. It will be approx. 150 pages. Each chapter will end with a hook. The storyline will feature multiple characters and plotlines.
A Young Adult book Age – 12 and up with the same format except the position of the central character will be different at the end of the story. Middle Grade characters remain children at the end of the plot. The central character in a Young Adult reader encounters adult problems and change is brought about through external influences. The character will have gained qualities and insight which he will take forward into adult life.
DAY 1 - 15th August 2013
The only real reason to sit down and start writing is if you have a story to tell.Moral struggles are popular with children and make great themes for children’s books.Stories that allow a child to identify with a character’s moral struggle can help him or her deal with problems more effectively.Tell your story and help children to cope with the incredible journey that is “growing up”Remember, telling a story is one thing and writing it down is another.Know what your message is going to be and write it down. My message will be “face your fears and they will vanish”Now I have to think about how I will get that message across.Something must happen and there must be conflict involved. The conflict comes from the hero’s struggle with something, whether that’s an internal struggle, a struggle with a villain, a struggle to be accepted, a struggle to fit in, and so on.I’ve read the Top Ten Mistakes Made By Beginner Children’s Writers and the list of 10 things you need to include to make your story as compelling as possible. You will find these in “How to write a children’s book in 14 days”My story will be a choice between fiction dealing with War, fiction dealing with Gangs, fiction dealing with Bullying and fiction dealing with disadvantage & poverty. Something has to happen in my story and the situation should be successfully resolved by my main character.Okay here we go…
My Story Outline
My story is about…An orphan boy who must face his fears in order to save a group of animals on the verge of extinction from a great predator
The hero/heroine does this…After being visited by the Greek God of Shepards and Flocks (Pan) the boy journeys to a dark forest
And this happens…where he meets the animals of the woods , unaware of their own special gifts that will need to be drawn on at the end to defeat a great beast. Each animal and its gift will represent a gift within the boy himself
The message of the book is…you have to face your fears alone but together you will overcome them. It is also an allegory for the environment with the great beast being a symbol of man and his superiority over the animals.
Conflict is created by…the boy facing his fear of the woods, his fear of the animals, the attack from the beast. Convincing the animals that he is there to help. Overcoming his reluctance to join a ‘family’ or ‘team’ with the same goal. Confronting his own Panic.
In the end it all work out / goes wrong because… the animals and the boy will join forces together to battle the great beast and defeat it and return the woods to its natural state. The boy will become part of the animal family and no longer fear them or their habitat. He will be at one with Nature and at one with himself. He will know Pan (the god Pan derives his name from the Greek word root “pa” which translates to “Guardian of the flocks.” Pan’s first role has always been that of the shepherd, the guardian between civilization and the wild)
I’m so Excited! I’ve bought the book“How to write a Children’s book in 14 Days” by Mel McIntyre and I’m going to share my writing experience with you. If you want to work it with me, simply click on the above link and you too can purchase this amazing book.
I’m going to write my book in 14 days as is suggested but I may not do it in 14 consecutive days as I am working on numerous other projects and need to manage my time. If you follow me on this journey you will discover how simple or difficult the process of writing can be. I encourage you to come along for the ride and I welcome all feedback. At the end of the journey I hope to have written a Children’s book that both you and I will be proud of. If I use your input I will include you in the acknowledgements and you will have the opportunity to purchase your name in print. In addition, you will have gained the experienced necessary to write your very own Children’s story.
Okay, so I’ll give you all a few days to purchase your copy of “How to write a Children’s book in 14 Days” and then we’ll begin. By this time next week we will have begun the journey toward being a published Children’s Author. Excited? You should be! How often do you get the chance to follow a writer through the actual process of writing his first Children’s book for publication? I have created a page on my website specifically for this task. Go to My Children's Book. Please sign my Guest Book if you do not want to miss an update. I’ll then be able to answer your questions directly via email.