Critiquing for Maximum Benefit and Minimum Hurt Feelings–part 6 of 7, START AT THE BEGINNING AND QUIT AT THE END

I know. Your first reaction to the title of this blog post is: Let me explain.The middle of a story is important---after all, that's where everything happens. But the beginning and ending are even more critical. If the "bookends" of the story are lacking, the whole work is thrown awry. And so... BEGINNINGS---ENDINGS CHECKLIST  Does... Continue Reading →

Critiquing for Maximum Benefit and Minimum Hurt Feelings–part 5 of 7, PLOTTING AND PLANNING

Oh, we're comin' around the bend, race fans. Today's installment of our series on critiquing considers the actual story. Here's your handy-dandy... PLOT CHECKLIST Problem--Can you define, clearly, what it is? When you read a manuscript, ask "What does the main character want?" If you don't know, that's a bad sign. Once you can identify... Continue Reading →

Critiquing for Maximum Benefit and Minimum Hurt Feelings–part 4 of 7, WHAT A CHARACTER

*phew* After a month of special guests and interviews and contests and frivolity, it's time to get back to what we're really here to encourage: Today, let's consider how to help your critique partner write realistic, unforgettable characters. CHARACTER CHECKLIST Point of View--Is it consistent? Whether it's first, second (boy, I'd like to see THAT... Continue Reading →

PICTURE BOOK DUMMIES FOR (NOT) DUMMIES with Sarah Frances Hardy — Plus a Giveaway!

Today, as part of Kidlit Week, we are thrilled to welcome author/illustrator and Sub It Club member Sarah Frances Hardy! Sarah has put together some great information on picture book dummies that is helpful not only to illustrators, but also to picture book writers, who need to think like illustrators. Sarah is also offering a... Continue Reading →

Author Amy Dixon Talks Submission (And Sweater) Feedback – Plus A Picture Book Critique Giveaway!

It's our second day of Kidlit Week and we're so happy to have Sub It Club member Amy Dixon here to share with us! Amy is the author of MARATHON MOUSE. Her picture book, SOPHIE'S ANIMAL PARADE, in which everything Sophie draws comes to life, is slated to be released on May 5th, 2015  from Sky... Continue Reading →

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