Writing Tips from Author D. A. Squires

Today's Post is for Day 4 of a 5-day virtual tour for The Time Seekers, by D. A. Squires.

In today's tips, Squires offers some tips to other writers.

What I Learned From Writing The Time Seekers

A funny thing happened on the way to writing a children’s chapter book.

First, it grew into a very long story.

The correct classification for a story over 500 pages (64 chapters with Prologue and Epilogue) is—a novel.

And second, the discovery that grown-ups (friends and relatives) who read the manuscript REALLY enjoyed the story.

A thought began to materialize – maybe this was a story for children and grown-ups.

Although the industry requires books be categorized (shoehorned is more accurate) into narrowly defined niche genres, reader age brackets, etc., I think a ‘giant leap over age bracket hurdles’ may prove possible with The Time Seekers.

So, keep in mind—although you may want to write for children, a good story, a good yarn, is enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Who does not want to turn the pages to once again hear Wilbur talking to Charlotte, or Stuart to Margalo, or Christopher Robin to Pooh?

In fact, the older you are, the more I think you want to return to these stories.

It is interesting to ponder why this is.

Some Other Tips

Write for yourself, an audience of one.

Let the characters lead you. They will. Just listen to their voices.

Write every day, even if only for a short time. It is very, very tempting to work backwards each time you sit down. Resist. Move forward and keep going, creative writing is like the arrow of time—you must move forward. You will have plenty of time to go back into the body to do the forensics (and something about this process really does remind me of an autopsy) which leads me to . . .

A Cautionary Warning

The fun part IS the creative writing. The not fun part, or as I like to think of it, the marching through hell for a heavenly cause part, is the editing.

So, ENJOY the pure exhilaration of writing without yokes or restraints or red ink.

Editors are waiting for you when the fun amusement park ride ends.

You will know them.

They have ghostly white skin (they never go outdoors except to meet the author at the end of the ride) and thick glasses (most suffer from a condition known as editor’s eye—gruesome), and they will be holding leg irons and handcuffs along with a very large book that says something about the manual of style (a large cleaver and various smaller scalpels are pictured on the front cover).

The rest is left to your imagination.

Final Note

I had the good fortune of having the artwork completed by an amazing artist, Kelly Arnold (who was also my graphic and website designer), well before the editing was finished.

This was purely good luck and not intentional, as I actually (naiveté thy name is new author) thought the editing would be something like a walk in the park and the book would be done, spit spot, to coincide with the completion of the art (however, when my ride ended, I knew at once this was a very silly notion).

The delay in the world of words was highly beneficial because it gave time for the world of art to speak: I sat looking at a very alive-looking moose, two tigers who obviously did not like wearing their porcelain coats on All Hallows’ Eve, a detailed Time Seekers map, many other illustrations and the book cover---and that is when the magic happened.

The art inspired me to add some of the best vignettes – these scenes are, without a doubt, the cherries on top.

If you have illustrations in your story, I would highly recommend the art be finished before the ink of the story is dry.

And then study the art – a lot.

## To follow this complete 5-day tour, just go to www.writingforchildrencenter.com.

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