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Chapter Books & Easy Readers / Chapter Book Demand? Vs MG?
« Last post by justin-colon on Today at 04:57 PM »
Hello.

I have several picture book manuscripts that are fully polished, thanks to my mentorship (as a result of the Picture Book with the Stars Contest) and my picture book course course with Anastasia Suen. However, even with my strongest manuscript (which has repeatedly revised, critiqued and edited by both my mentor and teacher, and run past beta readers) , as I'm sure many know, querying with picture books has been pretty brutal.

Something both my mentor and my teacher wisely suggested is that I consider turning my latest picture book (which I've been told is highly marketable and has tons of series potential) into a chapter book due to my voice and humor, and the plot (I originally had a lot of plot that had to be cut, which is another reason why they said I could turn this into a chapter book).

I've done my research; however, I'm not finding enough information about chapter books out there. I see on #MSWL that many agents want mg and ya. But I found maybe three at most (after filtering the results) who requested chapter books. And only 10 agents listed on the #MSWL website are listed as repping chapter books (and only six of those agents are currently open to queries). Are chapter books as equally desirable (or even close) as mg? Or will I find myself struggling just as hard querying with a chapter book as I would with a pb? My mentor said chapter books are a harder sell to publishers, but what about when querying agents?
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The Craft of Writing / Re: Favorite books about writing?
« Last post by JulieM on Today at 03:57 PM »
Ann Whitford Paul's Writing Picture Books is concise, interesting (with examples) and relevant. https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Picture-Books-Hands-Publication/dp/1582975566/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
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The Craft of Writing / Re: Favorite books about writing?
« Last post by jodyjl on Today at 03:55 PM »
Story Genius is AWESOME. It is particularly good if you are a pantser who finds that outlining kills your story. (Pantsers do have some inner planning, it's just that we come at it from a different angle.)

YES! So true.

I'm developing an new novel right now, and all I've written so far is back story. I still have no idea what will happen to these three characters, but I'm developing a common incident that shaped all their lives before the story even begins.

Story Genius is incredible!

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The Craft of Writing / Re: Favorite books about writing?
« Last post by olmue on Today at 03:44 PM »
Story Genius is AWESOME. It is particularly good if you are a pantser who finds that outlining kills your story. (Pantsers do have some inner planning, it's just that we come at it from a different angle.)
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Computer, Web & Tech Discussions / Re: Chromebook pro and con
« Last post by annemleone on Today at 03:34 PM »
My school is getting Chromebooks for the kids next year, so the teachers all got Chromebooks in advance this past week. So I have absolutely no experience to share with you, but curious on the responses! I think it has a USB port, but I'll double check on Monday. I did have a moment where I realized that if someone sent me a Word doc or pdf, I wasn't sure if it would open. I mean, presumably I could open it in Google Docs, but I'm not sure how good it is at converting various files. So its basic-ness does scare me a bit, but so far the keyboard is nice for typing and the set-up seems pretty slick... I'll report more next week!
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The Craft of Writing / Re: Favorite books about writing?
« Last post by jodyjl on Today at 03:07 PM »
My favorite books on writing are both by Lisa Cron (Wired for Story and Story Genius). I learned about the ever-important third-rail of stories, that inner journey. It's the journey we, as readers, relate to more than the external one. We actually root for the character to fulfill his/her inner need more than the outer need.

In Story Genius, Cron writes about finding the main characters mis-belief. Then she encourages you to dig deep into their past. Find their secrets. Find what they really want. Find what they believe is standing in their way.

I wish I had found Cron years ago. I truly believe, without any doubt, that her advice is what allowed me to finally revise my novel so that it resulted in a sale.

Having said that, I also love Bird by Bird (Lamott),  Writing the Breakout Novel (Maass), and The Fire in Fiction (Maass).

Jody
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The Craft of Writing / Re: Favorite books about writing?
« Last post by andracill on Today at 02:52 PM »
My favorite is Orson Scott Card's Characters and Viewpoint (but characterization is definitely one of my personal challenges).
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Computer, Web & Tech Discussions / Re: Chromebook pro and con
« Last post by andracill on Today at 02:39 PM »
My daughter's middle school provides Chromebooks for all the students, so I know you can load software (or at least connect with sources?). They use their cbs for homework, taking notes, and taking tests. I haven't examined it closely enough to know if there are USB ports. My FIL used to use a Chromebook for all his computer needs at home, and he said it covered everything he needed (which was basically email and checking FB).
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Computer, Web & Tech Discussions / Chromebook pro and con
« Last post by AnneB on Today at 11:50 AM »
Husband's computer just died (2006 MacBook -- but hard drive's from 2008).  The display has been getting dimmer and dimmer so it's really time to retire the thing. All DH needs a computer at this point is  browsing and checking email. At some point we'll get a new Mac desktop for photo and video editing, but he'd rather wait to do that until he has more time to learn it.

Costco has a good sale on Chromebooks this weekend. However, his IT consultant is a Mac person (that would be me :curtsy ) with no experience at all with Chromebooks.  I know they're basically 3D browsers and that's about it. What are the advantages (besides price) and disadvantages? Do Chromebooks have USB ports to plug in an external CD/DVD player so he can listen to CDs or is it set up only for streaming?

We looked at iPads but that  would 1) require learning to navigate iOS, which he is not interested in at this point  2) an external keyboard because he's a touch typist. By the time you add a wireless keyboard and mouse, you might as well get a  :parrot

And I've always wanted a parrot...

Opinions welcome!
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I'll add that the NF mags seem to like stories with active child learners, and to be the best fit, you'd want to write a story that fits an issue theme. For example, a NF mag publishing an issue about butterflies might go for a fictional story about a child who plants a butterfly garden, provided the facts about how the garden was planted have been researched and have a bibliography to back them up.

Hope that helps!
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