Sunday, November 8, 2015

A helpful re-post for children's book authors

Rhonda Paglia of Grammy Pags Stories
Grammy Pags Stories Website
Hi Everyone!

I just returned from the 2015 West PA SCBWI Fall Conference [Nov. 6-7, 2015].

Right now I'm compliling ( and trying to make sense of) my conference notes.  I will share them soon.  Until then, here's an article with helpful suggestions for authors of picture books from SCBWI [the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators].  (I am assuming it's okay to share this article since SCBWI had Twitter and Facebook buttons attached to this comentary.)

To read the entire article, here is the link:  From SCBWI - Digesting Picture Books
We all know that studying picture books is important, but are you fortifying yourself with each read? Here are ideas to consider: 
Check the title. Say it aloud. What clues does it give the reader about the book? Who does it target? Is it a name or a line from the book? How long is it? Is it memorable? How does it illuminate what’s inside?
Check copyright information. Publication date? Publisher? Make a guess before you peek!
Read aloud. Garner your first impressions. What made you laugh? cry? think? slow down? keep reading? Which words were fun to say? Why?  
Read silently and carefully. Chew on words and ideas. How does each page move to the next? How does it build to a climax? Has the second reading held your interest or deepened your understanding? How? Would you read it again?
Consider mood. How is it created? Through pacing? character development? word choice? sentence length? repetition?
What elevates the book from mediocre to first-rate? Word choice? Plot? Hook? Rhyme? Rhythm? Humor? Pathos/ethos/logos? Mystery? Pacing? Repetition? Character development? Structure? Innovative strategies?
Deconstruct the first and last sentences. How does the first sentence set up the story? What information does it divulge? How does it intrigue you to keep reading? How does the last sentence wrap things up? Is there a hook or a surprise? Does it come full circle? Make you laugh? Cry? How? Why?
Read the book flap blurb. How many sentences are used? How does it hook you without revealing everything?
Grammy Pags Stories