Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dos and Don’ts of Writing

An article, Do’s and Don’t of Writing Children’s Books, in last Sunday’s The Southern Illinois newspaper states the obvious.

Here are the Dos:
Learn the market.
Perfect your craft.
Focus your attention on "hot" areas in children's publishing.
Request publisher guidelines and catalogs before submitting your work to a publisher.
Learn to write a crisp, upbeat query letter that will grab the attention of a harried editor.
Be persistent.

Here are the Don’ts:
Assume that today's kids' books are just like the ones you read as a child.
Get bogged down in clichés.
Talking animals aren't completely taboo, it's just that most writers don't do them very well.
Treat kids like babies.
Don't waste your time trying to write a children's book and get it published without understanding the rules of the publishing game.

Well, duh. Nothing new there. (I don’t really agree with the Do: Focus on the hot areas of children’s publishing, but I can see where the author’s coming from.)

Basically, every do and don’t they list for writing children’s books could be said for writing any genre or level of novel.

Just because it’s a time-tested truth and it’s been said many times before, doesn’t mean it’s not worth repeating.

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