writing a childrens book, 7 deadly sins of writing

WRITING A CHILDREN’S BOOK? The 7 Deadly Sins of Writing Children’s Books (VIDEO)

WRITING A CHILDREN’S BOOK?

The 7 Deadly Sins of Writing Children’s Books 

    In the below video I give you the first 3 tips

on writing your children’s book… free.

This video is narrated by the author of The Seven Deadly Sins of Writing Children’s Books.

We go through the first 3 “deadly sins” and offer writing tips and an overview of the types of mistakes new writers tend to make when writing for children.

Here is a list of the & Deadly Sins:

  • #1 Pictures Do Not Tell the Story
  • #2 Show Don’t Tell
  • #3 Marry Logic With Creativity
  • #4 Action, Action and More Action
  • #5 Do Not Make Assumptions
  • #6 Create a Real Story Around the Lesson
  • #7 Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation

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7 deadly sins of writing children's a book


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Wishing you much imagination…

Interested in more writing tips?

Check these authors out…

Help for Writers Block

Why the Advice to “Just Write” is Just Wrong

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just write, writing tips,

Here’s Why The Advice to Just Write is Just Wrong

 

Since I was a teen I’d been writing regularly.

I kept diaries, journals, wrote poems, songs, short stories and any piece of an idea that came to me.

I literally had binders full.

Why? Because I had been told that to become a better writer I had to…

just write….

 

The only problem was, I WASN’T becoming a better writer.

I’d sift through my writings and wonder what the hell I was thinking? 

They were mostly incoherent ramblings and partial ideas for lame stories.

 

Why would I put consistent energy into something where I didn’t see myself improve?  

Why indeed.

But, I’d heard (over and over again) how important it was to just write. So I did.

 

It wasn’t the quantity of writing I did, the issue was quality.

 

So, if the advice to just write didn’t work, what’s a girl to do?

Well, for awhile I stopped writing…

I read instead.

I would then try to write like the authors I admired.

It helped, but I didn’t really have a system I could rely on.

 

 

I eventually found books and information on the internet that helped.

These were written by authors who struggled with the same issues I faced.  

They became better writers because they improved the structure and technique of their writing process. Not by simply writing more.

 

Below are 3 tips I learned to improve my writing. I hope they help you too…

 

Tip #1 – Use Shorter Sentences

Using shorter sentences helps get your point across more effectively.

 

The internet has shaped how we process words and information.

Most readers just click away if they feel overwhelmed… which doesn’t take much.

 

Using short sentences needs to be done with care though.

You don’t want your copy to read like a children’s book. Unless of course, you’re writing a children’s book.

Play with the length of your sentences. Intersperse a few long sentences among the mostly short sentences. See what happens.

 

Tip #2 – Read It Out Loud

just write, creativity, write your first book

Write a paragraph or two and read them aloud. How does it flow?

This will help you understand how your writing will sound inside your reader’s head.

 

If it reads smoothly it’ll help pull your reader farther into your work.

 

Is there a rhythm to your writing?

The rhythm of your writing is important and very much like a song with a “hook”.

The hook is that part of the melody people tend to remember and hum along to.

Get the hook right and your readers will keep “humming” along.

 

#3 Write It Down

Write out most of what you want to include in your article or story on paper first before you get on the computer.

Or at least make a bullet pointed list.

 

This practice has really helped me become a better and faster writer.

When I write it out, I spend a lot less time writing on the computer.

 

 

There is something about putting pen to paper that helps to get my message out fluidly and more quickly if I go directly to the computer.

 

This will become very important going beyond 2020…. staying OFF our devices as much as possible.

 

When I use a pen and paper first, it’s much easier to cross something out or reposition a paragraph.

I can also just scribble notes in the margins.

My biggest problem is reading my own handwriting!

 

Additionally, by the time you’ve reached the end of your story (or article) it’s gone through a good one or two edits.

 

At that point, let it sit for a bit.

Maybe a few hours later or ’til the next day.

 

Then go back, reread it and edit it again to polish it up for final publication.

 

For some, you may need or want to go through more edits. It’s up to you.

 

Just keep moving. Don’t get stuck which is so easy to do with writing.

 

So, the next time you hear the advice to “just write” know there is a more effective process out there. 

 


Want more writing tips? Try this article with Scott Sigler or this one with Kurt Vonnegut.


Wishing you much imagination…

Interested in more writing tips?

Check these authors out…

Help for Writers Block

Why the Advice to “Just Write” is Just Wrong

Home page – https://www.thewritersnexus.com

ALL Social Media: https://linktr.ee/seekcraft1

Email: thewritersnexus@gmail.com

writing a story outline

Writing A Story Outline – Try What I Call “The 3 Sisters Of A Bad Ass Outline”

The act of writing is an arduous chore. There, I said it.

Many writers feel the same way, but won’t admit it out loud.

Some of the greatest, most prolific writers in history have said they don’t actually enjoy the process of writing. 

Well, here’s a “secret” you probably won’t read anywhere else…

 

Almost all successful authors start with a template or story outline.

 

They don’t sit down and just write like we’ve been told to do over and over again.

 

**Read what I say about WHY the advice to “just write” is just WRONG….**

 

The savvy and successful author knows there is a “formula” to their success.

It all starts with a well thought out story outline.

If you just groaned and thought of high school English class, let me explain.

 

Your story outline doesn’t have to be overly structured.

Your outline is a guide not a road map.

You’re not married to it.

You’re just dating it for awhile until you decide what kind of story you really want to write.

 

 

Think of your story outline as the “planning stage”.

By the time you seriously hit the keyboard for your storytelling… you’ll be able to see the pathway to your story in your head. 

 

This is important.

 

Unless you’re as prolific and experienced as someone like James Patterson or Stephen King, you’ll almost certainly need to write a story outline before you get into the details.

 

JK Rowling did…

She wrote a story outline for all the Harry Potter books.

story outline, jk rowling outlines harry potter books

 

Rowling wrote copious notes on all her characters.

She gave them histories and back stories that never came to light in the final draft.

Her story outlines gave her a level of organization and character background to draw from.

 

The 3 Sisters of a Bad Ass Story Outline are

Characters, Plot and Setting

 

Characters                        Plot                         Setting

3 sisters of a bad ass story outline

 

 

The story outline centering on Plot, Characters and Setting is not new.

However, it can be applied to most any kind of writing though.  

 

**Writing Tip**

It’s best if you can put your story outline to pen and paper first. Maybe I’m old school, but I find it faster and easier to write the first draft on paper before I launch a word doc.

 

#1 – CHARACTERSThe First Sister  

Who are the main people in your story?

Who are the supporting characters?

Make sure you include:

– 2-4 Main Characters – eg. The Hero and his/her Best Friend and maybe 2 others

– 1-2 Antagonists – The Villain and maybe he/she has an assistant

 

– VICs – Very Important Characters – These are the characters who are not the main characters, but are extremely important to the telling of the story.  

Example of VICs: If Harry, Ron and Hermione are the main characters, then Ron’s family The Weasleys or the lovable Hagrid are VICs

 

What are the basics of each character?:

– Their names

– A brief understanding of who they are and what their personality traits are.

– A physical description of each character. This can be fleshed out later.

– Write their histories and anything you believe is relevant to the character.

The details of the First Sister of Characters will grow as you move through the story outline.

You can always come back and add to your character descriptions at a later time.

 

 

#2 – THE PLOTThe Second Sister  

The way to make a plot stronger is by starting at THE END.

Seriously… HOW do you want this story to end?

That’s where you begin.

When you know where you want your story to go it becomes easier to get there.

Once you have your end fairly solidified THEN jump forward to the beginning.

After that, start filling in the middle with scenes, plot twists, happenings, flirtations etc.

Don’t worry about how all of this will link together… yet.

You can start to fill in more blanks as you progress through the outline.

 

There are a few more things to consider with The Plot…

  • Ask yourself what type of genre your story will fall under and whether this will be a one time story or part of a series? If you want to make this into a series of stories or books then decide that nowIt may seem premature, but you can save yourself A LOT of grief down the road if you do.

 

  • What type of novel/story will this be? Will it be a romance, a mystery or a thriller? Nonfiction? Children’s book maybe? Or perhaps a combination?

 

A great example of deciding upon a series of books ahead of time is… Harry Potter.

One book lead to the next in that series and the story grew in intensity while carrying the plot line from the book before. It was brilliantly done.  

Another aspect to get right during the story outline phase is the Voice or Tone.

This is where you will decide to write either in the 1st person or 3rd person.

It’s also where you want to give a lot of thought to the feel of the story

Tone is the general underlying sense a reader has as they go through the story.

Try this…

Write out a few scenes. Then read it back to yourself aloud. Does it fit with the plot? Can you see the characters actually living this type of story?

The tone of a story can really make or break the success of a novel. Getting it right at this 2nd Sister of the Plot stage will save a TON of grief later.

 

#3 – THE SETTINGThe Third Sister  

 

The 3rd Sister is all about where it happens… the setting. 

This stage could also be considered world building.

Many writers, directors and producers consider the world a writer has built to be THE MOST IMPORTANT element of any storyline.

 

Now, take the characters, what’s happening to them and decide WHERE it’s all happening.

Ask questions like:

  1. Is this story set in the past, present or future?
  2. What type of culture does this setting have?
  3. What are the politics and economy like?
  4. What’s their currency?
  5. What’s their popular music scene like, their popular movies and art, if any at all?
  6. What kind of technology do they have?
  7. What kind of devices do your characters have in this world you’re building?
  8. How do people use them?
  9. What are the pros and cons of these devices?
  10. What are the values of the society? What’s important to them? <— this can be an incredibly important question to the overall movement of the characters through this world

This next question is extremely important and also Shakespearian…

Who has all the power? And Why?

All tribes, all groups, all societies have leaders and rules. What kind does your world have?

Conversely, if you really wanted to write a story without anyone in charge, with no cultural order… go ahead. 

 

At this point in your story outline, you want to go back and start filling in all the blanks.

Keep going back until the entire structure is there. If you are using pen and paper you may consider a small binder to stay organized.

If you’re using a word doc, have a file for every chapter, every character and for even certain scenes if they are important and complex enough. 

I find it’s much easier to X a paragraph or sentence out on paper than try to do that on the computer mid-script. Although, if you’re using a word doc exclusively just stay very  organized.

Now, just keep going back to your story outline and fill in as much detail as possible, linking the information, dialogue and action together – having them lead deeper and deeper into the plot – until you feel like the entire framework for your story is there. 

So that is The 3 Sisters of a Bad Ass Story Outline. I hope it’s given you value.


 If you’re interested in some more writing tips…

Check out tips from these successful authors…

Margaret Atwood

Scott Sigler

Paulo Cohelo

Rick Riordan

Help for Writers Block

Why the Advice to “Just Write” is Just Wrong

The 4 Horsemen of the Writers Apocalypse


Wishing you much imagination…

Home page – https://www.thewritersnexus.com

ALL Important Links: https://linktr.ee/seekcraft1

Email: thewritersnexus@gmail.com