SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The Craft of Writing / Re: Pitching a manuscript reliant on illustrations
« Last post by StephC on Yesterday at 08:53 PM »
Really interesting to see Linda's approach! Her art direction itself is very lyrical.

I tend to be very spare in any illustration notes, even if the text itself is quite minimal. I think that if you can evoke a particular feeling with your text, that will help to set up expectations in your reader. Setting the scene and tone together kills two birds with one succinct stone. :)

Regarding art direction, if a visual joke, character detail or plot point needs to be explained, I just add a line in square brackets detailing anything not able to be gleaned from the text. For example: [Lulu is a chocolate lab with a freewheeling, hippie aesthetic.]

It seems as though there's quite a bit of room for individual style (or perhaps I've been doing it wrong!) :)

Good luck with the book, Kristina!
Contests and Challenges / #PBPitch Twitter Pitch Party on 6/21/18!
« Last post by LIMAMA on Yesterday at 08:10 PM »
 :stars3 :love5 :goldstar :star2 :star2

It's time for our Spring Fling!  There's still time to hone your pitches for this Thursday and make a dream match with an agent or editor.  Get the details at

 :hurrah :hurrah :stars3 :love5 :star2 :star2
Middle Grade (MG) / Re: Middle School Research
« Last post by Melody on June 17, 2018, 08:32 AM »
Yes, good reminder, Deb, as it can get confusing. My son was in sixth grade in middle-school and my MC is a sixth-grader at an arts magnet, so being around sixth-graders, even though they were at a middle school, was helpful in my case.
Middle Grade (MG) / Re: Middle School Research
« Last post by Debbie Vilardi on June 16, 2018, 09:12 PM »
Just a quick note, middle grade readers aren't in middle school. Middle grade is ages 8-12, so third through sixth grade. After that many are reading YA. There is an older middle grade sub category that ends at about age 14.

Other than that, it can also help to watch and read the media the age group is consuming. This way, you'll know what they're talking about as you listen in.
Middle Grade (MG) / Re: Middle School Research
« Last post by brenna-miller on June 16, 2018, 12:10 PM »
Thank you so much, everyone! I’m blown away by your quick responses and great advice.
Middle Grade (MG) / Re: Middle School Research
« Last post by Melody on June 16, 2018, 10:08 AM »
Magnet schools often give tours. I went on a tour of an arts magnet to get the feel of setting for my MG.  My son was also in middle-school so I volunteered as much as I could to get myself into classrooms and around the school. If you are not a parent, that will pose a challenge but sometimes it's nice to just 'see' the school itself as far as writing details about it in your story.

As others have said, you'll have to go where the kids are and be around them a bit.

Middle Grade (MG) / Re: Middle School Research
« Last post by carrots on June 16, 2018, 09:45 AM »
As a former middle school/high school teacher, who now subs, I totally agree with the above suggestions!! Since school is now out in most parts of the country, you could start now with the listening in and - if you need more - follow-up in the fall with the sitting in. (Be aware, many districts will require a background check to be done by the local or state police before you're permitted to spend time within a classroom. You might check into that now, so you don't have to wait to be cleared once school resumes.)

Best wishes, Brenna!!!

Middle Grade (MG) / Re: Middle School Research
« Last post by andracill on June 16, 2018, 09:28 AM »
You could also simply go someplace where middle schoolers hang out and observe/listen. My daughter just finished middle school, and they hang out at malls. :)
Middle Grade (MG) / Re: Middle School Research
« Last post by Pons on June 16, 2018, 08:29 AM »
Teachers are good, but spend lots of time listening to this age group talk and talking to them. If you could sign up to help on campus in some way, you'd have a chance to study them in their natural habitat - so to speak. (grin) Beware of using too much slang, because it changes so quickly and can really date your writing. Good luck and have fun. I love this age group.
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10