Posts Tagged ‘Get your manuscript professionally edited’

Coach Teresa, How do I fix my children’s story? Agent says it’s too episodic.

In my previous blog post about how to remedy an episodic storyline  . . . here’s an argument from one of my clients who writes children’s books . . .

“But kids aren’t that sophisticated, are they? Shouldn’t stories for that age group be episodic?”

Coach Teresa here . . .  Kids know what a good story is, especially if they’ve read the timeless classics (to name a few:  The Hobbit; The Wind In the Willows; Charlotte’s Web; The Phantom Tollbooth; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. What are other memorable children’s books? Wordsworth the Poet by Frances Kakugawa is a contemporary favorite of mine )

Also, keep in mind that a children’s story has to hook adults (agents, acquisition editors, publishers, booksellers, reviewers, shoppers).  How do you hook adult-readers, even if you choose to be your own publisher?

Answer:  Create memorable characters and follow screenwriting teacher Terrel Seltzer’s advice:  “Someone we care about wants something badly and is having a terrible time getting it.”

Here’s my post from May 26, 2011 about Terrel

I encourage you to set the stage.  Give the reader sensory details—not only sight and hearing but also taste, smell and touch.

To create a story with thematic significance, let your metaphors / similes / inferences move your story forward or provide clues.

 

 

 

Coach Teresa says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Want to attract agents  & publishers?  Want to be your own publisher?

Email:  writingcoachTeresa    at    gmail.com

http://writingcoachTeresa.com

Coach Teresa  LeYung-Ryan loves to edit:

  • novels & memoirs with feisty protagonists and universal messages;
  • children’s novels that help young readers understand their feelings and build self-confidence

 

Coach Teresa, what does it mean when an agent says my story is episodic?

Authors of novels, memoirs, children’s novels–this advice is for you.

Episodic = This happens, then this happens, then that happens… An episodic story is not compelling because there’s no connection between character growth and action plotline.

The answer: Show the transformation of your protagonist(s) . . . not because “things happen to her/him” but because her/his choices/behavior lead her/him to the next step, to the next step, as she/he goes after what she/he wants.

Examine every scene. Ask yourself this question: What does your protagonist want in this scene?  What is she/he afraid of?  Who/What is the antagonist in this scene?

As Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson says:  “When the dramatic action changes the character at depth over time, the story becomes thematically significant.”

Re-read your favorite book that has a similar premise as yours.

Cheering for writers!
:)
Coach Teresa says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Want to attract agents  & publishers?  Want to be your own publisher?

Email:  writingcoachTeresa    at    gmail.com

http://writingcoachTeresa.com

Coach Teresa  LeYung-Ryan

specializes in:   novels   / children’s novels  / memoirs



 

Coach Teresa, I’m concerned about my manuscript and someone stealing the work.

Coach Teresa here . . . my clients email me their manuscripts–their work being transmitted on cyberspace. This is why I ask all my clients to submit their manuscripts (mss.) in the same format that agents & publishers want them in–your name and book title in the header on every page.

The following information is from http://copyright.gov/

What is copyright?

Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.

What does copyright protect?

Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “What Works Are Protected.”

How is a copyright different from a patent or a trademark?

Copyright protects original works of authorship, while a patent protects inventions or discoveries. Ideas and discoveries are not protected by the copyright law, although the way in which they are expressed may be. A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others.

When is my work protected?

Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Do I have to register with your office to be protected?

No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration.”

Mail yourself the entire ms. (U.S.mail) but don’t open the envelope when you get it back–the postal mark/date and the unopened envelope serve as evidence.  Note:  You must register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office before you bring a lawsuit for copyright infringement.

My trademark attorney is Robert Pimm. He is also a copyright attorney.

Cheering for writers!
:)
Coach Teresa says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Want to attract agents  & publishers?  Want to be your own publisher?

  • Get your manuscript professionally edited
  • Build your writer’s platform NOW

918-6222  ( 510 area code )

Email:  writingcoachTeresa    at    gmail.com

http://writingcoachTeresa.com

Coach Teresa  LeYung-Ryan

specializes in:   novels   / children’s novels  / memoirs


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