Thursday, June 11, 2020

That's Why We Write


That’s Why We Write

The greatest compliment that I have ever received came from someone only three.  Spending time with the grandchildren is something many of us enjoy.

A good settling down activity before nap time is reading.  What a perfect time to test out a children’s book written by Great Grandma.

I turned on my computer and downloaded “MY BEST FRIEND, PEANUT.  Her eyes lit up!  She began to jump around and pointed to illustrations on the screen, as I read.  We finished the whole book, not once, but twice.

Her actions gave me the best book review that I could ever ask for.  It passes the grandchild test.


The Making of a Children's Book

 

The making of a children’s book

When you find a pen, you write. At least you hope to. Having multiple interests, I took nearly a two year break and put aside the writing tools.  What I should have known, just because you don’t hit the big time, doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel! Well, I did create parts of my two hundred word search collection during my sofa time, so maybe the work did not stop altogether.

When it is time to turn on the computer and write, sentences will flow much easier with an idea in mind. Often, out of the blue thoughts or images will surface. You may be sweeping the floor, or even in bed trying to fall asleep. Most times I do get up, and look for one of a handful of notepads. Usually one is hidden under a scattered manuscript; I didn’t say I was organized. If I didn’t do this, by morning I would be scratching my head. “Now, what was the word I was trying not to forget?”

So you have been jotting down ideas, and you have made yourself an outline. It’s a first step. The story will need a beginning, middle and end. What is the theme, characters, backdrop, plot, storyline, etcetera of the manuscript? Do all points of the story tie in? Will the book cover stand out in the crowd? Finally, does the title match the book? Maybe the time away from the pen was a time of learning for me.

When you think you are done with the writing, go back again and again. I can’t image any book or magazine article without rewrites. If the manuscript is for a children’s book, you can read it to the kids. Children are brutally honest. If it doesn’t sound right, they will tell you!

My biggest mistake as an inspiring writer was to rush in too fast. It will only give you headaches and waste a lot of time and money. For many self-publishers there are stressful stories to tell, but will spare everyone from mine. I have come to the conclusion, to be successful at your craft takes dedication and the stubbornness not to quit.

For the next step, hiring someone to edit is a very good idea. When a manuscript is returned, mistakes will need to be corrected. It may need more editing and be proofread by a seasoned writer. It is where as a beginner I went wrong. A writing course would have helped as well. Sending a manuscript out to traditional publishers before it is ready won’t work. It took me years of trying before I discovered the problem was me.

When it comes to illustrations or photographs, publishers only want what is good. A traditional publisher will hire someone for that if pictures are needed. Since my work was all on the self-publishing side and this blog is based on my opinion, my experience in writing it has been mainly that. For years I provided my own illustrations. Traditional publishes can tell the difference from someone who draws like a 10th grader than a professional illustrator. Rejections are hard to swallow when they keep coming. So that’s when I turned to self-pushing.

MY BEST FRIEND, PEANUT is a new children’s book, and barely out on many sites. I am working with a writing coach. Two years ago, I sent it and another to her. She nicely let me know the manuscript was not ready. “You don’t want one star, she said.” Both books went into a hold, and collected dust on my bookcase. Another rejection crushed my dreams, but the writing coach was right. I took a much needed break and now feeling stronger than ever before. A dream is inside us all, it’s up to each individual to bring it to life. 

A good writing coach will point an inspiring writer in the best direction, and let you know when you are falling off track. Creating a book takes many steps. Once a file is made from each completed page, the manuscript is formatted for print, eBook, or both. My writing coach downloaded my files to be published. Books will be available on sites like, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Books2Read, Kobo, Apple Books, and now a strong possibility of some libraries catalogs. With its colorful illustrations and flowing Rhyme, young children will enjoy this latest book.

If a person has an idea for a book, why not jot down those ideas? Writing can also turn into a wonderful hobby. Some begin with diaries, journals, or a plain notebook. Even with no experience in writing, that’s how inspiring book authors take their first step.


My Books: MY BEST FRIEND, PEANUT, CHRISTAMS AT THE CLUAS HOUSE SAVING CLARA DEER, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CHIRP SNAP AND QUICK

 Look for many more books to come…

Sunday, May 31, 2020