Thursday, February 28, 2008

Writing For Children

I'm reading another book called Writing For Children by Catherine Woolley (who is also Jane Thayer). It's a thought-provoking, 167- page book with a bibliography and an index. It goes into great detail about characterization, conflict and setting. I took a look at my book and asked myself, "What is my main conflict?". I realized I had several and would have to rework a few places to make one of the conflicts the main one.

The author also does a wonderful job of reminding us to to keep in mind the perspective of the child. I have difficulty with this when I'm on a roll. This book helped to keep me on track. I like that the author suggests humor in children's books as I agree. I'm finding that my humor can be a bit sarcastic, especially between siblings, and I don't care for that style. I'm trying to correct it.

The author is adamant about, "you cannot hope to become a first-rate, recognized juvenile author unless you possess some sense of world history and literary history." She goes on to explain that she doesn't mean all writing should be of historical events (unless you want to). She means a writer should be an educated person if books written for children are to have substance. I'm still out about this one. Of course, I've written one small, regional children's book. What do I know?

Take care.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Adirondack Literary Award

The Adirondack Center For Writing is having its annual Adirondack Literary Award. Please enter! Here is the official press release:

February 19, 2008

For Immediate Release:
Nathalie Thill
Executive Director
Adirondack Center for Writing

Call for submissions for Adirondack Literary Award!

The Adirondack Center for Writing (ACW) is accepting submissions to its annual Adirondack Literary Award. This award recognizes books published in 2007 by regional authors and/or books written about the region. Awards for best works of nonfiction, memoir, fiction, poetry, children's literature, and photography will be decided by a panel of judges for each genre. We will also offer the popular People's Choice award for best overall book regardless of genre, voted for by ACW members. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in June.

If you would like to have a book considered for this award, please send two copies of it to:
Adirondack Center for Writing
PO Box 265
Paul Smith's College
Paul Smiths, NY 12970

Books must have been published in 2007. The deadline for book submissions is March 11, 2008. All books submitted for consideration will be displayed at the Awards ceremony.

For more information, please contact ACW at 518-327-6278 or go to our web site,, there you will also find a list of past winners. Good Luck!

About the Adirondack Center for Writing
The Adirondack Center for Writing is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting literature and providing educational opportunities and support to both aspiring and established writers in the Adirondack region. They provide workshops, conferences, and readings throughout the year in locations all around the Adirondack Park.

See, I made the text green for Adirondacks. You know, the mountains? Oh well. I strongly support the center and hope you will, too. I'm not sure if I'm going to submit Adirondack Nightmare or not. I think it will be a waste of everyone's time. It was a good first effort but, an award winner? I don't think so!

Take care.

Friday, February 15, 2008

How Many Rewrites?

I had a nice post all typed a few days ago, went to submit it and Blogger was down. I'll try again!

I've got ten chapters done and am doing another rewrite. I'm taking out unnecessary words. Too many adverbs and adjectives. Too much redundancy. I'm not worrying about word count anymore, now it's quality of writing and the flow of the story. I am writing the purpose of each chapter in my notes. This has been very helpful to me. It keeps me on track with the storyline.

I think I'm going to stop after this rewrite and write the last chapter before I tackle more of the middle of the book. I like the beginning chapters. It's the middle I'm getting a little wishy washy with.

What has helped me tremendiously is Stephen King's book, On Writing. His "memoir of the craft" is dead on. I've read and reread it several times. This last time really hit home for me. I realized I was writing just to get words down. It was necessary for me as I had become so frozen with my writing but now it's time to clean it up, delete, and rewrite. Thank you, Mr. King.

How many rewrites is this? I've lost count. Let's say twelve, that sounds about right.