Monday, July 30, 2012

What Makes a Good Middle Grade Book?

My new middle grade manuscript is moving right along. A couple blog posts ago I announced I was up to 8000 words. It is now at 16,783 words!

I know, I know that's not very many words. But for a person who writes picture books, it is a lot of words!

I've written the entire story. I am now editing and adding flesh to the bones
I have changed the names of two of the characters. I've made them more interesting.

My story has pets - a cat, a pregnant beagle and 4 puppies!

My main character is a boy. I've given him a habit or ritual that he does all the time. But, by the end of the story, he doesn't have to do it anymore.

The main character is imaginative, his friend is smart and he has a handicap.

I've added a short paragraph to the first page that will make the reader want to read more. I think that is very important, they need to want to read more! Something needs to draw them into the story.

I have added the month, date and year into the writing on the second page, so the reader knows when the story takes place. (It is a historical fiction)

Comment and let me know what you think.

What makes a good middle grade? What makes a middle grade book interesting for kids?

I am very anxious to finish. My goal is to get 20,000 words.
I know that is a little short for a middle grade, but I believe it is enough for my story.

posted by Janet F. Smart at Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch
©Janet F. Smart

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Writing and Quotes

Hi everyone. I can't believe it's been so long since I posted here.

I have been busy, though.
I have been working on my newest middle grade novel. It feels good to be working on something new.

And, I sent in a submission to Chicken Soup! The call out I sent my manuscript to was Angels Among Us.
My story is about something that happened when my dad passed away. I'm keeping my fingers crossed they will want it.

Here are some writing quotes I like:

"Sure, it's simple, writing for kids . . . . Just as simple as bringing them up." Ursula K. LeGuin

"The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or to say a new thing in an old way."  Richard Harding Davis

"If you tell me, it's an essay.  If you show me, it's a story."  Barbara Greene

"The title to a work of writing is like a house's front porch.... It should invite you to come on in."  Angela Giles Klocke

Do you want to share with us the name of a book that has a great title?
I love writing for children. When we were leaving the library on Tuesday, after my writing meeting, a small child was walking in with his mother. He was carrying a book under his arm almost as big as he was.  It was so inspiring. Some day I hope to see a child carrying a book I have written under his arm. 

 Posted by Janet F. Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch
©Janet F. Smart