Monday, November 17, 2014

MMGM - Rude Dude's Book of Food

Welcome to Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.

I am telling you about:

Rude Dude's Book of Food
by: Tim J. Myers
Familius LLC 2014


I write a column for children every month in Two-Lane Livin' Magazine. My column is titled, Fun Facts for Kids.

I have learned two things:
Kids love facts.
Kids love learning facts written about in a fun way.

Tim Myer's book is all about facts written in a fun way. It has eight chapters about the crazy-cool stuff we eat. Food is fascinating when told about by the Rude Dude. Most everyone loves chocolate - right? But, I bet they didn't know about chocolate's trip down history. Also, learn all about hamburgers and one smart cookie. That's not chocolate chip cookies, but fortune cookies. And, we learn that awesome pizza has a short history in America. and you wouldn't believe the different toppings some people put on this favorite snack bar food.

Well, you get the idea. This book is all about foods kids love and it is written in a fun, and sometimes wacky, way. For all the teachers out there, in addition to learning a lot of neat facts about food, there are also lesson ideas and info on how the book meets common core standards.

So, if you know someone who wants to learn good, fun and weird facts about some of their favorite foods, this is the book for them.

 For more reviews on books click here to go over to Shannon Messenger's Blog.

Happy reading!

Friday, November 7, 2014

She said. He said. I said.

I recently read an article on writing in deep point of view. I always wondered what this meant. Among other things, it said that in deep point of view dialogue tags are replaced with action, body language, voice description or emotion. Replacing the tags makes your story feel more real.

That got me started on my little tangent of finding and replacing said's in my manuscripts.

Of course, you can't take away all of them. Tags serve the purpose of: identifying a speaker, preventing reader confusion, making long dialogue sections more digestible, and they provide opportunities to insert action or description - thus becoming an action or description tag.

Then there are adverbial tags. I try to avoid these - she said quickly, he said coldly, she said angrily.
These words can  make a tag seem more obvious and remind them that they are reading a story instead of experiencing it. Don't be lazy, let the person's dialogue and/or actions show that they are angry.

Last night, I took on the task of finding all the said's in a Middle Grade manuscript I had written. I deleted over 100 of them!
About a week before, I had checked another Middle Grade manuscript I had written. I didn't notice how many I deleted in that one, but it was quite a few.

In case you are wondering, here is one other way to help create deep point of view in your manuscripts:
Get rid of thought words/sense words, such as felt, heard, realize, look, decide and saw.
Why? Because these are telling words that you tack onto the start of a sentence that show the world as it is filtered through the character's eyes. 
Instead of saying, "he felt the hot rays of the sun on his body," say "the hot rays of the sun beat down on his body." I know that's not a very good example, but it gives you an idea of what I mean.

So, give it a try. Like me, I bet you will find a lot of dialogue tags and thought/sense words you can get rid of - and it won't hurt your manuscript a bit. In fact, it will make it better.

Anyone else have thoughts to add to this conversation? If so, tell us in your comment.

Happy Writing!