Apr 17, 2008

email blogging (test2) : Tips for Writing Chapter Books By Laura Backes

Tips for Writing Chapter Books  By Laura Backes, Publisher of  Children's Book Insider

Chapter books create a bridge for kids in second through fourth grades who are beyond easy readers but not yet ready for middle grade novels. Written for ages 7-10, chapter books average 10,000 words, or about 40 double-spaced manuscript pages, broken into short chapters of 3-5 pages each. Publishers are always looking for writers who can create unique fiction for this age group.

Here are some tips:

The plot rules. Though chapter books don't have to be quite as action-packed as picture books or easy readers, a fast-paced plot is still important. The story should continuously move forward, with small cliffhangers or surprises at the end of chapters. Don't slow the plot with lengthy scenes of dialogue or character introspection.

Though the primary plot line should focus on concrete action that the reader can visualize (illustrations, if any, will be limited to about one per chapter), it is acceptable to have one emotionally-based sub-plot that's closely linked to the main story line. For example, if the story is about a character having to move because her father got a new job, a sub-plot could be about her worrying that her best friends will forget her.

Don't be afraid of conflict. Conflict provides tension and complication in any type of story. Kids want to read about how characters like themselves solve interesting problems. Make your characters, especially your main character, a child in second through fourth grade, and give him or her problems, goals or conflicts that are relevant to that age group. Children this age are still concerned with their everyday lives and immediate surroundings: friends, family, school, their neighborhood. But chapter book plots can take characters away from the direct supervision of their parents, at least for a little while. A nine-year-old sleuth could identify the thief who is stealing bicycles from the school playground; an eight-year-old entrepreneur could start a dog-walking business to raise money to go to soccer camp.

Keep it light. Humor is one of the primary factors that motivate young children to read. Chapter book readers still appreciate physical humor such as silly clothing or a clumsy teacher who trips every time she enters the classroom. But they're getting more sophisticated and appreciate humorous dialogue or jokes that require a page or two to set up. The laughs come from who the characters are and how they react in different situations. Characters who can laugh at themselves, or who exchange zany (but not meanspirited) remarks, are also endearing.

Keep the writing tight. Don't spend too much time on description--this stalls the action. Trim any information that isn't absolutely necessary to understanding the present action of the story. Don't let your paragraphs get longer than four or five sentences, and break run-on, complex sentences into two simpler ones. Structure your chapters so each one has a clear plot point. When that plot point is complete, move on to the next chapter. Finally, don't juggle the story between two narrators. One character should emerge as the viewpoint character for the whole story.

Want more great information just like this? Check out Children's Book Insider, The Newsletter for Children's Writers. Visit now for more info and a special offer.

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Wriritng Tips from mdpublishing

Nah, this is an interesting writing group I heard from a
friend. When I joined them, after the moderator approved my
membership(oops, yes, you have to submit one or two of your
works as sample, better if it had been published somewhere,
in a book or printted circulation like magazine or
newspaper) the system automatically sent me files. Not only
welcoming, it included some tips wrriten neatly in easy
language. One of enlightening articles i ever read. You can
read one of them below, and if find it useful and you want
to get more, join your self at mdpublishing groups


Just to get you primed and ready for writing, here are a few
Whatever you are writing (and this applies to
non-imaginative writing as well),
you MUST (absolutely must) have:




Sounds logical, doesn't it? But you'd be astounded at the
number of people who ignore this simple principle of

In imaginative writing,
you BEGIN by introducing your character/s,
setting the scene (in place, time and atmosphere)
and establishing the main story line.

In the MIDDLE you place a couple of obstacles in the path of
your characters - a problem or difficulty that has to be
overcome. This builds tension and maintains interest as well
as allowing you the chance to reveal more about your
characters and their strengths and weaknesses. You then
build to a climax of the action.

The END involves tying together any loose ends - if you've
introduced something like a mysterious car driving past at
different times, then you must explain its significance
before you finish - if it has no significance, then leave it
out! You can have a twist at the end of your writing, but
don't make it too complicated or far-fetched and please
(please, please) DON'T have your character wake up and find
it was all a dream ...Aargh!

The key to success in imaginative and dramatic writing is to
write about things you know and understand. Stay on familiar
ground and you stay out of trouble.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that good writing
has to have masses of drama (these are the same people who
think that good acting is LOUD acting). You only have to
cast your mind over some of the more woeful offerings on the
telly to understand how prevalent this is.

You know the sort of thing - a typical day in a typical
suburban street: a mugging, an attempted suicide, a
long-lost parent returns and wreaks havoc in the lives of
his/her long-lost family, the lovers discover that they're
really brother and sister the day before they're due to be
married, the drive-by shooting, the old duffer on the corner
reveals that he's really an eccentric millionaire and little
Johnny discovers aliens in the refrigerator ...

You don't need all that nonsense.

The best writing deals with subjects and events that we can
all relate to and understand. That's not to say that you
shouldn't attempt science-fiction, thrillers, action stories
and romance writing. Just keep one foot firmly on the ground
(or your tongue firmly in your cheek). There's a difference
between the improbable, the impossible and the

Remember that the aim of this form of writing is to
entertain and to amuse - but that doesn't mean that you want
your audience to be falling about laughing at you.

If you're tackling a novel or any extended piece of writing,
you must take steps to keep track of your:

Plot twists
There's nothing worse than getting to the end of a novel and
wondering why the writer introduced that scene in the
mountains; or what ever happened to that fellow who was
hanging around outside the heroine's bayside cottage at the
beginning of the story or just what was the significance of
that necklace which played such a major role in the dispute
between the two main characters in chapter five ...

You owe it to your readers to tie up all the loose ends - if
we wanted loose ends, we'd just observe our own lives! We
read novels because we like that satisfying feeling that,
yes, it does all fit together; there really is method in all
the madness.

It can be very difficult to keep all the loose ends under
your control when writing a novel - especially if you're
writing it over a prolonged period.

The best way to keep track of events is to invest in some A3
paper. Turn the paper side on, so that it spreads out like a
banner, sideways. You can tape several sheets together to
make a long strip. Now you can begin plotting your novel.

Start at the beginning and write down the date you have in
mind for the start of the events in your novel.

Write this at the top left-hand corner of your paper and
highlight it. Each time you change the time-frame, write the
date above the events, at the top of the paper, and
highlight it in the same colour.

Divide your paper into sections and keep one section for
each main element of the novel

For example, you already have the time-frame at the top of
your paper, so you could have the top third of each page for
characters; the middle section for plot development and the
bottom of each page for changes in setting.

Any plot twists need to be highlighted in a different colour
or circled I boxed or whatever - just do something which
will draw them to your attention, so that you don't forget
about them.

As you unravel each plot twist, you can go back to where you
first introduced it and cross it out to show that you have
dealt with it. That way, you can easily check that all loose
ends are tied together, because it will be immediately
obvious if a particular event hasn't been crossed out.

Don't try to cram too much onto each page - the whole point
of this process is to give you plenty of room to change your
ideas without the problem of numerous pieces of loose paper.
You have plenty of paper at your disposal - so roll out a
separate page for each separate idea. You can then add new
ideas as they occur to you, cross out bits that don't work,
write little reminders to yourself (have a special colour
for these reminders, so that they stand out - or circle them
in a special way) and initial them as you deal with them.

Don't separate the pages either - keep them together, so
that events stay in order (it's a good idea to doubly
safeguard your system by numbering your pages - just in case
they're accidentally torn).

You'll find that there's no substitute for being able to see
everything set out like this. When you come back to your
opus after a time away from it, you can simply unroll your
paper and have an immediate overview of plot development,
characters and so on.

And it's especially effective if you can literally unroll
the whole lot in order to get this overview - so try to find
a big room - a hallway is often the only space suitable once
you get under way. Never mind, your family and friends will
soon become accustomed to the sight of you crawling up and
down the hallway, muttering to yourself and scribbling on
tatty bits of paper ...

OK - now you don't have any excuse. So pick up that box of
colouring-in pencils, grab your paper and start scribbling.

Apr 16, 2008


Funtastic day, after months being elsewhere (not really on earth he he he), i work on this Green Lil Devils skin template again, upload it, and... I join in Technorati. Well, a bit outdated but stil i love to see my Technorati Profile Still dont know how it works... i'll tell you later

Apr 14, 2008

Aiiob XML Editor

Hey, hey! If you need an XML editor software, and you like freeware too, I recommend Aiiob XML Editor. Well, it's an amazing software. I love it. I help me with my favourite part in blogging, that is changing-making-redesigning the skins. This free software help me alot in editing XML files, convert them, and check the errors. Well, I am a kind of "computer illiterate"... still, I can use this software with ease. I am sure it will be helpful to for more experienced webmasters --even the real Master.
Geez, I am excited with this :)