Showing posts with label Karen Cioffi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karen Cioffi. Show all posts

Green Eggs and Ham and a Bet

 

Contributed by Karen Cioffi, Children's Ghostwriter, Rewriter

This is a short post, but I found it fascinating and wanted to share.

Who would think that a random bet and constraints could lead to a book that sold 8 million copies as of 2019, and would become the best-selling book of the Dr. Seuss series?

When most people think of the word ‘constraint,’ it invokes a negative feeling or idea.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of constraint is “something that controls what you do by keeping you within particular limits.”

This is where the negative idea comes from.

It makes sense that something that limits you, controls you, isn’t a good thing.

Well, according to James Clear, constraints are our friend. Constraints foster creativity and motivate us to work within those limits to accomplish what we need to.

What I found exceptionally interesting is that “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss came about through a bet and constraints.

In 1960, Bennett Cerf, the founder of Random House, bet Theo Geisel that he couldn’t write a children’s book with only 50 words or less.

The bet was for $50.

Imagine if Dr. Seuss balked at the idea of writing a story of only 50 words for a bet of a measly $50.

I’m sure you’ll find the rest of Clear’s article as interesting as I did:
The Weird Strategy Dr. Seuss Used to Create His Greatest Work

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author, ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach. If you need help with your story, visit Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi.

Karen also offers authors:

HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN'S FICTION BOOK
A DIY book to help you write your own children’s book.

WRITERS ON THE MOVE PRESS
Self-publishing help for children’s authors.


Making Scenes Work

 

Contributed by Karen Cioffi, Children's Freelance Writer

One of the best descriptions I’ve read on what a scene is comes from James Scott Bell’s blog, Kill Zone. In an article on strengthening scenes, Bell explains that “scenes are the bricks that build the fiction house. The better the bricks, the better the house.” (1)

This gives a visual of how scenes work. Building one on top of the other to create a strong story.

Masterclass describes a scene as “a section of a story that has its own unique combination of setting, character, dialogue, and sphere of activity.” (2)

This description gives more details, but I like Bell’s visual better.

The Masterclass article also explains that scenes are one of the “most valuable writing skills an author can possess.”

This makes scenes even clearer. They’re essential to a ‘good’ book. Going back to the brick house, the better (stronger) the brick, the stronger the house.

A scene has a beginning, middle, and end, just like the story.

When the location changes, another character enters the scene, or something else significant changes within the scene, that’s usually an indication that it’s the end of that scene and the beginning of the next.

An example of this is from my middle grade book, Walking Through Walls.

The protagonist, Wang is trying to walk through a wall but just can’t do it. He’s fearful of getting hurt. It takes him ten tries.

Finally, he passes through it. That’s the end of that scene.

The next scene has Wang ecstatic. He’s thrilled. He can’t contain himself.

So, how do you make scenes work?

1. The first thing a scene needs to do is achieve something.

Think of the brick. It’s solid. It’s its own entity.

Each scene has a story to tell.

The scene may be a chase scene, a fight scene, the inciting incident, a romantic scene, or a scene establishing the setting.

Using Walking Through Walls again, at the beginning of the story, Wang is seen sweating and complaining while working in the wheat fields. This scene establishes the type of work Wang is doing and also establishes his attitude toward it.

2. A scene should be the foundation for the next scene.

Scenes are like building blocks. They provide information the reader should know to move forward in the story.

Going back to Wang and his attitude toward hard work, it allows the reader to understand why he desperately wants a way out of his life.

The scene can also provide more information, such as backstory, or a look into the character’s family life, friendships, strengths, weaknesses, and so on.

It can be anything of value that helps move the story and characters forward.

3. Every scene should have a point of view.

As a children’s ghostwriter, most of the stories I write have one point of view.

But I also work on upper middle-grade where there can be two points of view and young adult where there can be multiple points of view.

When working with more than one point of view, each scene should be specific to only one; otherwise, it can get confusing and weaken the strength of that brick.

4. Each scene should contribute to the world you’re creating.

The period of Walking Through Walls is 16th century China. This meant a lot of research.

I incorporated tools of the time period, clothing, and even food within the scenes to build the world the characters lived in.

I also used dialogue to build the world. I eliminated contractions and flavored the dialogue and actions with respect, especially toward elders.

5. As your story should be shown and not told, so should your scenes.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a new writer of an experienced writer, it’s easy to fall into the ‘telling’ mode when writing.

Showing a scene means using dialogue, action, sensory details, and internal thoughts.

Using showing enables the reader to be absorbed in the story. It connects the reader to the character and brings the reader into the story.

Telling keeps the reader at arms-length. The reader won’t be able to make as strong a connection to the character or the story.  

Hope these five tips on writing a good scene help you strengthen your story’s scenes.

References:

(1) https://killzoneblog.com/2021/08/three-easy-ways-to-strengthen-a-scene.html

(2) https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-write-the-perfect-scene#quiz-0

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author, ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach. If you need help with your story, visit Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi.

Karen also offers authors:

FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN ECOURSE
A guided self-study course and mentoring program.

HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN'S FICTION BOOK
A DIY book to help you write your own children’s book.

WRITERS ON THE MOVE PRESS
Self-publishing help for children’s authors.



Is It Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

 

Contributed by Karen Cioffi, Children's Writer

 I’ve always loved fantasy, so it’s a natural fit that I like writing it for children.

But what exactly is fantasy, and how does it differ from science fiction?

FANTASY

The simplest way to explain fantasy is that it doesn’t exist in the real world. Your imagination is the only limit when writing fantasy. This may be why I gravitate toward it.

If a story has supernatural or magical elements, it’s fantasy.

Fantasy allows you to delve into all sorts of topics, even difficult ones, and it comes across in a more digestible way than realistic fiction.

For example, in my chapter book,, Walking Through Walls, the main character, Wang, joins the Mystical Eternals and learns how to walk through walls.

In the sequel (still in progress), Wang has the choice to morph into a dragon at will or get another incredible ability.

Another example of fantasy is talking animals. This type of fantasy can have the protagonist going off on a journey alone or with friends. A children’s writer couldn’t have a child do this in realistic fiction as it could give the child dangerous ideas. There are lots of topics that can be introduced using talking animals.

In my picture book series, The Adventures of Planetman, the protagonist has supernatural vision and can fly. One of his friends has super speed, and the other is super strong.

These scenarios couldn’t possibly exist within the natural laws of our universe as they involve supernatural elements.

With fantasy, the writer can create new worlds and new beings. It can rain meatballs. There can be magical fairies and wizards. Science and realism are not factors.  

Think of Superman, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.

SCIENCE FICTION

Science fiction is also out of the ordinary but is based on scientific principles. The elements of the story can exist within the natural laws of our universe. The scientific basis helps explain the extraordinary things that go on in the story.

These stories usually involve future scientific elements, such as space travel, aliens, time travel, and environmental catastrophes.  
 
An example of science fiction is Batman. All his abilities are from gadgets that are based on science. While some of them may be a bit far-fetched, they are in the realm of possibility.

Just think of all the gadgets and inventions created that are based on movies, books, and even articles. It’s astounding.

Driverless cars.
Holographic images.
The submarine.
The rocket.
The cellphone.
The taser.
The smartwatch.

Science fiction movies include:

World of Worlds
Contact
Altered States
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Matrix

Sci-fi books:

The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Contact by Carl Sagan
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
The Children of Men by PD James

A MIX

A mix of fantasy and science fiction is just that, a mix.

In these stories, there are elements of sci-fi and fantasy. An example of this genre is Star Wars.

While Star Wars easily falls within the sci-fi genre, it also has elements of fantasy, such as a force field. Although, in 2015, Boeing patented the first-ever force field to protect against shockwaves.

But even with the force field coming into existence, Star Wars also has lightning bolts from fingertips and levitations. These elements are pure fantasy.

So, if you’re writing sci-fi or fantasy for children, are you sure which it is? 

This article was first published at: https://karencioffiwritingforchildren.com/2022/10/09/writing-for-children-is-it-fantasy-or-science-fiction/
(Sources are listed there.)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR





Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author, ghostwriter, editor, rewriter, and coach. If you need help with your story, click HERE.

Karen also offers authors:

FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN COURSE
A guided self-study course and mentoring program.


HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN'S FICTION BOOK
A DIY book to help you write your own children’s book.

WRITERS ON THE MOVE PRESS
Self-publishing help for children’s authors.




You, Your Reviews and Your Lifelong Marketing


You, Your Reviews and Your Lifelong Marketing

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the winningest book in her 
#HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for Writers, The Frugal Editor

Generally speaking, your two most important parts of a writing career is your byline and credit line. You will find an example of the byline in its most helpful form above, and an example of the credit line below this article as a mini bio. (The lease effective credit line—and shortest—I have ever seen was in the LA Times when only a moniker for Twitter (X) given. I mean, there wasn’t even an introduction saying what it was for! Nevertheless, even that was helpful to readers.

But in today’s #WritersontheMove, I want to celebrate (or mourn) the end of the release period of my The Frugal Editor, (about a year after the copyright or any book), I want to share with you important intricacies of reviews which is also the number one most effective marketing techniques for any book release no matter where it first appears—print, TV, radio, and online media, the cover of your book, or sometimes even handwritten reviews from the salespeople at your favorite hometown bookstore..

One of the reasons reviews and the excerpts that can be drawn from them (also called blurbs, testimonials, endorsements) are my favorite is they are likely to be the most active marketing period of a book—both pre- and post-release. Another is that they are so lasting I call them forever marketing techniques. And I want you to know one of the most important ways to keep them working for as long as you decide the life of your book should be—right up to its becoming a classic. As important as general reviews are (and I have written a tome-sized book on about every aspect of reviews called How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethicallythe big secret is in those excepts/blurbs. Below you will find a short example of a review that is ripe with possible excepts (many are!), but in Hollywood one great word like “fabulous!” is a poster-worthy excerpt that they call might call a “logline” in addition to all the other monikers I listed above. So, you can play this game as well as they. Ta da! 

Example of Full Review: Oh, how writers wish someone could take them by the hand and lead them directly to publishers, helping every step of the way? Look no further as all the answers are in this book, Third Edition of The Frugal Editor. Previous editions were excellent. Nothing could be better . . . except this book which has an additional 50% new content. The publishing world changes quickly, and this text allows writers to keep up with the ever-changing world of editors, publicists, finicky agents, trends, cultural expectations, queries, and media kits. Carolyn Howard-Johnson wastes no time clearly and succinctly explaining the how and why, sharing little known secrets and exploding grammar myths. Information about possible scams and misinformation is important to understand. Save yourself time and money by learning from the best, Howard-Johnson.” ~ Carolyn Wilhelm, BA, MA, MS and author of environmental content is a veteran educator

Excerpted for Passion: Oh, how writers wish someone could take them by the hand and lead them directly to publishers, helping every step of the way? Look no further as all the answers are in this book, Third Edition of The Frugal Editor. Previous editions were excellent. Nothing could be better . . . except this book which has an additional 50% new content.” ~ Carolyn Wilhelm, BA, MA, MS, veteran educator, and author of environmental content  

NOTE: This could be three excerpts, depending on submission standards and other preferences and a little rearranging carefully using ellipses and parentheses advised for editing direct quotes.

Excerpted to Impart Specific Information: The publishing world changes quickly, and [the 3rd Edition of The Frugal Editor] allows writers to keep up with the ever-changing world of editors, publicists, finicky agents, trends, cultural expectations, queries, and media kits.” ~ Carolyn Wilhelm, BA, MA, MS and author of environmental content is a veteran educator

Note the use of parentheses.

Excerpted for Brevity: 1. Save yourself time and money by learning from the best, Howard-Johnson.” ~ Carolyn Wilhelm, BA, MA, MS and author of environmental content is a veteran educator

There are a couple of extras where the clarifying changes might require the permission of the reviewer; that is generally not a problem when you explain the quotation will include their credentials and/or the name of the media in which it first appeared. Occasionally, that source-name is all that is needed.

This definitely isn’t that last thing you should know about this process, but it’s an important one. Copy-and-paste or otherwise preserve both reviews and blurbs whenever and wherever you find them. Put them in a file. Remember, reviews are forever. You might even reuse some of them when you publish your book’s second or tenth edition.

About the Author


Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including USA Book News’ winner for The Frugal Book Promoter. An instructor for UCLA Extension's renowned Writers Program for nearly a decade, she believes in entering (and winning!) contests and anthologies as an excellent way to separate our writing from the hundreds of thousands of books that get published each year. Two of her favorite awards are Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment given by members of the California Legislature and “Women Who Make Life Happen,” given by the Pasadena Weekly newspaper. She is also an award-winning poet and novelist, and she loves passing along the tricks of the trade she learned from marketing those so-called hard-to-promote genres. Learn more on her website at https://HowToDoItFrugally.com. Let Amazon notify you when she publishes new books (or new editions!) by following her Amazon profile page at https://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile. Her The Frugal Editor is now in its third edition from Modern History Press and sorrowfully ending its official release year. Let it help you edit your 2024 work-in-process and happy new year.

Developing Outlines and Character Details When Writing Middle Grade

 


 Contributed by Karen Cioffi, Children's Writer

The majority of my clients ask for picture books, but currently, I’m working on two middle grades.

While a middle-grade book can be significantly shorter than a novel, it still has a big chunk of words at around 20-50,000. Quite a difference from the under-800-word picture book.

When I write a picture book story, I use the seat-of-the-pants method. I find it works well with around 600-800 words.

This is not the case with a middle-grade story. Writing a middle-grade story is similar to writing a novel, so the same practices should be used. Because of this, I use an outline.

CREATING AN OUTLINE

With an outline, you can make it as detailed as you like.

Being impatient, I used to write as bare an outline as possible. I've found, though, that writing a more detailed outline is a huge help when getting down to writing the story.

This became particularly apparent to me when a client from five years ago recently called me.

I had written one middle grade for him and started a second one. For some reason or other, the client stopped the project after a month into it.

He now wants to resume the project … after five years.

Fortunately, I keep good records and files. I make sure I have them backed up. In fact, I use Dropbox and Carbonite. I also have an external drive that I back my files up to.

Overcautious?

Maybe, but I've had the experience of losing a client's project – the entire manuscript - due to a computer mishap, so I take extra precautions.

Because I save everything, I have the information from the first book and what I had done on the second book.

Going over my notes, I was THRILLED to see that I had written a detailed outline of Book 2.

Granted, this is an unusual situation as it’s the first time I’ve had a client stop a project, and especially stop one for such a very, very long time, but it helps emphasize the importance of an outline.

Having that detailed outline is going to save me time and effort.

CREATING CHARACTERS

Along with creating an outline, it's important to develop character details.

Writing coach and author Suzanne Lieurance says that if you know your characters before writing your story, you'll write a better novel.

Why?

Well, if you take the time to create your characters, especially the main characters, you can open up other details or subplots within the story that you might not have thought of before.

This also helps you to create unique characters. Characters with their own personalities and quirks that make them easily distinguishable from the other characters.

You'll know that Jeff has a temper, Russell is timid, and they're best friends despite their differences.

You'll know that Marisa has a crush on Matteo, who has a crush on Abby, who likes Jeff.

All this is going on behind the scenes in subplots as the main character struggles to reach his goal.

Knowing all this will allow you to understand how a character will react in certain situations. It'll also help you write particular scenes with ease.

I hope these tips help you write an outstanding middle-grade story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


 Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author, ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach. If you need help with your story, visit Karen Cioffi Writing for Children.

Karen also offers authors:

FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN COURSE
A guided self-study course and mentoring program.

HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN'S FICTION BOOK
A DIY book to help you write your own children’s book.

WRITERS ON THE MOVE PRESS
Self-publishing help for children’s authors.



Your Children's Story and the Message


 By Karen Cioffi, Children's Writer

I get a lot of clients who want to tell children something through a book.

These people want to send a message in hopes of teaching the reader something … something the author thinks is important.

People who want to write children’s stories usually want to teach and enlighten children, whether it's about bullying, being yourself, being kind, or something else.

This is a noble endeavor - the problem, though, is children don’t want to be told what they should or shouldn’t do. They want a story that they can get involved in, one they want to turn the pages to find out what happens next, and one they can connect with the main character.

The ‘icing on the cake’ is what the reader takes away from the book, the takeaway value.

So as an author, how do you get your message across without hitting kids over the head?

To start, the story should be about something kids will want to read about. And it should not overtly be about the message.

I recently read a client’s manuscript that flooded the story with the author’s message. Nothing was subtle.

So how do you tone down your message to weave it seamlessly and subtly into your story?

One way, if you’re writing a story because of a message you have, is to think of a scenario where your message could play out.

Your message or moral takeaway may be about doing the right thing, even if tempted.

Suppose the story is about Sammy, a kid who’s basically honest.

Sammy and his friends find a bag of money on a shelf in the garage of an elderly neighbor they’re cleaning the garage for.

It’s a lot of money, and Josh wants to split the money between himself, Sammy, and another friend.

After thinking about it for a minute, Sammy tells Josh to put the money back.

A few seconds later, the elderly neighbor walks into the garage.

Sammy was tempted. He probably thought all sorts of things before finally realizing it was wrong.

Nowhere in the story should it say, ‘Crime doesn’t pay.’ 

Let the reader come up with their own conclusions.

If the story is written right, the reader will get the takeaway value without realizing they are … without the author hitting them over the head with it.

A story that takes the protagonist on a journey should result in him growing in some way.

Using Sammy above as an example, maybe he wasn’t sure what to do under those circumstances. Maybe he thought about being dishonest in the past. Maybe he struggled with his honesty in little things.

He chose the right path and learned something about himself. He was an honest kid.

Again, your young reader wants a good story. They want to go on a journey – messaging should not be a part of that journey.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author, ghostwriter, editor, rewriter, and coach. If you need help with your story, click HERE.

Karen also offers authors:

FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN COURSE
A guided self-study course and mentoring program.

HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN'S FICTION BOOK
A DIY book to help you write your own children’s book.

WRITERS ON THE MOVE PRESS
Self-publishing help for children’s authors.


Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn't Shortchange Self-Publishing

                      Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Shortchange Self-Publishing 

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning 
HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers




I have been Sinatra’s proverbial “prince, pauper” and a number of other things when it comes to publishing—meaning that I have tried publishing every almost every way imaginable and am here to tell you there is no one right way to do it. It can depend on your personality (are you super independent?), your pocketbook, the nature of your title, the time window you have and more. Because the term self-publishing is so often misunderstood, it is important to tell you what true self-publishing is and is not.

1.      It is frugal—or not—depending on the choices you make. It is flexible. You do everything yourself which is very frugal—very nearly free—with everything but you time. Or you hire the skills you know you should (like book cover design) and some skills you don’t want to take on (perhaps like formatting) when your pocketbook allows. And when you chose to ignore those guidelines for skills everyone adamantly recommends you avoid because you are too frugal or just plain stubborn (like editing), you tackle learning as much about it as you possibly can with the vengeance of becoming a professional and plan on doing double duty when it comes to getting help from beta readers as suggested in my The Frugal Editor.

2.      As suggested above (but bears repeating), you can publish with no upfront costs.

3.      You make all the net profit from your book. If you don’t, then it’s not really self-publishing. In fact it may be an indicator that it is vanity publishing which carries problems of its own. (By the way, I don’t like the “vanity” term because it negates the value of creativity of any book.)

4.      That you can’t use your own ISBN number is a myth. You must pay for your ISBN if you want one that carries no hidden code for a press that isn’t your own, but they can come free with some like Amazon and others like the dreaded vanity presses you have probably heard about. Most readers won’t know the difference.

5.      You keep all the rights to your work and, yes, though it isn’t easy, you can change your mind later.

6.      You make all the net profit from your book. If you don’t, then it’s not really self-publishing.

7.      You can (but won’t always!) publish more quickly. There are some very good reasons to want to do this. Your book’s topic may be time sensitive. You are aware that you may not live forever. You may simply have other stories (or books) waiting for their own time in the sun.

8.      You make all the profit net profit from your book. If you don’t, then it’s not really self-publishing. A better net profit is about making earnings for your efforts, but they also give you more room to play with like offering your book at a discount at book fairs and still make a profit for yourself (albeit a smaller one).

9.      Make no mistake, the likelihood of your self-published book of becoming a true bestseller or of seeing it on the shelves of bookstores everywhere is far less than if you snag a huge (read that “Big New York Five” as an example) contract. But if you’re publishing only to get huge sales (or profits), it is a long shot in cany case. Publish—traditionally, self, or somewhere in between—for other good reasons. There are plenty great reasons for each scenario.

10.   If you have another business, you can self-publish a book that will impart your professional credibility to your customers and attract new ones. (To say nothing of producing a little extra income stream).

Note: Your book may lead to other creative income streams like audio books, CDs, toys, and suggest other free promotions for the good of your book or other pursuits.

More About the Author



Carolyn Howard-Johnson started what she considers her “real writing” career when most are thinking of retiring. She brings her experience as publicist, journalist, marketer, editor, retailer, and the author of those books published almost every way possible including traditionally, to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program including a class on editing for self-publishers. The books in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers have won multiple awards. That series includes  The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor which won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. Her self-published How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically launched to rave reviews from Karen Cioffi, writer and publisher.

 

Karen says, “I’m an author, content writer, and online marketing instructor. Reading Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s The Frugal Editor has given me lots and lots of tips and reminders on how to write right, whether I’m writing fiction, nonfiction, blogging, or marketing. It’s a writing tool I’ll refer to over and over again.”

Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of “Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts.

The Two Elements of Point of View


 

By Karen Cioffi, Children's Writer

 As the title states, there are two elements to point of view (POV).

1. The first element is who’s telling the story.

From whose viewpoint is the story being related to the reader? Or whose story is it?

With this part of POV, you’re choosing the character who is telling the story.With young children’s books, there should be only one POV: that of the protagonist.

When you’re writing in one character’s POV, it’s essential that you don’t accidentally fall into head-hopping.

Head-hopping suddenly brings another character’s POV into the story within the same scene. It may be the same paragraph or the same chapter.

There’s no lead-in to the POV change, which makes it jarring to the reader. It can cause the reader to pause, making him read the passage a few times to get it straight.

It may seem that sticking to one POV is an easy thing, but it’s actually a very easy slip to make. You can slip into another character’s POV without even realizing it.

An example:

Jason is the POV character. Ralph is his best friend.

Jason couldn’t wait to tell Ralph his good news. He grabbed Ralph by the arm and spun him around.

“Hey,” Ralph yelled. His immediate thought was to have his fist ready.


This sentence brings Ralph’s POV into the scene as his thoughts are being made known to the reader.

To eliminate it:
Jason couldn’t wait to tell Ralph his good news. He grabbed Ralph by the arm and spun him around.

“Hey,” Ralph yelled, his fist ready to fly.

With this little change, you’re keeping the essence of the scene while also keeping it in Jason’s (the POV character) POV.

Another example.
Jason couldn’t stop thinking of the girl he and Ralph met earlier. And neither could Ralph.

When you slip into another character’s internal thoughts, you’re head-hopping.

See how easy it is to do this-just four little words.

A simple fix:
Jason couldn’t stop thinking of the girl he and Ralph met earlier. He knew Ralph couldn’t either.

According to Jerry Jenkins, “I avoid that [head-hopping] by imagining my Point of View or Perspective Character as my camera—I’m limited to writing only what my character “camera” sees, hears, and knows.”

2. The second element is whether the story is told in first, second, or third person.

The second element establishes how the story is told. In other words, is it told in first person, second person, or third person limited?

This is a powerful element of storytelling.

A quick overview:

First-person pronouns: me, I, mine, and my.

The protagonist is telling his story. He’s the narrator.

Examples of this POV are:
–Angry Ninja by Mary Nhin
–Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor
–The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Second-person pronouns: you, your, and yours.

The protagonist is the narrator and talks directly to the reader.

Examples of this POV are:
–How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan
-Train Your Angry Dragon By Steve Herman
–The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone

Third-person limited pronouns: he, she, they, it.

A narrator is telling the story through the protagonist’s perspective in the case of young children’s books.

The narrator is inside the protagonist’s thoughts, senses, and feelings.

According to MasterClass, it ”can give readers a deeper experience of character and scene, and is the most common way to use point of view.”

Examples of this POV:
Walking Through Walls by Karen Cioffi
–The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
–The Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

I hope this helps you get a better handle on point of view.

This article was first published at: https://karencioffiwritingforchildren.com/2021/07/11/writing-and-point-of-view-2-must-know-elements/ 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


 

 

 

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author, ghostwriter, editor, rewriter, and coach with clients worldwide. If you need help with your story, click HERE.

Karen also provides:

FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN COURSE
A guided self-study course and mentoring program.

HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN'S FICTION BOOK
A DIY book to help you write your own children’s book.

WRITERS ON THE MOVE PRESS
Self-publishing help for children’s authors.









Amazon Adds New Marketing Aid for Their KDP Print Books


From Carolyn Howard-Johnson,
Author of The Frugal Book Promoter, 3rd Edition

This may be the shortest post I’ve ever done for this #WritersontheMove blog. But why wait when there is good news afoot. And why stretch it out? I’ll try to keep it simple, too. 

Amazon just announced the best new feature they have instituted for the benefit of authors in a very long time. It’s for print books only—paper or hardcover. It will help Amazon authors with a pre-release feature that is very nearly as valuable as the preorder campaigns big publishers are using for their books. 

Think Rachel Maddow’s Prequel. I just ordered it. Her hardcover of that title is promised on October 17th at a bit of a discount. It seems to me that her book has been available for preorder for what seemed an immeasurable chunk of time. If it’s a good enough marketing tool for Maddow, indies, and those published by a publisher smaller than Penguin sure enough should want to use a similar marketing technique for their books. Whether you have your manuscript ready now or plan one for the future. The announcement from Amazon makes it clear that the new plan isn’t quite as broad as it is for Penguin and other biggies, but there are intimations that, too, may be on the horizon. Until then, we will now be able to set our own release dates for print up to 90 days in advance.

Here's what self-published authors (Amazon-published authors) of print books (including hardcover books) can now do and it came straight from Amazon to my mailbox: 

 

“We're excited to announce that starting today (Oct 5, 2023), you have the option to decide when your book’s detail page [I call that page our “buy page”] becomes available to readers on Amazon for your KDP paperback and hardcover books. When creating a new print book, you'll see an option to release your book now or schedule a release date. If you choose to schedule a release date, you'll be able to select a date 5 to 90 days in the future for your book to go live on Amazon. On this date, the book’s detail page will become visible at 12:00 AM GMT for readers to purchase your KDP book on Amazon everywhere you have territory rights.”

 

This will let Amazon-publishing peeps...

1.    Have a big hunk of time to use the Amazon link for their book’s buy page on much or all of their pre-marketing campaign—up to ninety days.

2.    That allows us to spend time focused on engaging readers and marketing our books instead of doing the rushed release so many authors tend to do now.

3.    You can order author copies early so you’ll be covered for your very first launch party or book signing.

4.    You’ll have that comfort level of knowing the copies you order are on their way. 


Reminder: Please note, scheduling a release date is not the same as setting a preorder time for your readers to buy your book—yet. KDP says, “KDP doesn’t offer [that] for print books at this time. To learn more about release date options, supported formats, and requirements, visit our Help page: 
https://kdp.amazon.com/help/topic/GZUV7SNV728WT4QE .”


MORE ABOUT TODAY'S CONTRIBUTOR



Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, editor, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. The books in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books published by Modern History Press include the third editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor which won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and the coveted Irwin award. That series includes books on other topics for writing as varied as writing book proposals and editing tricky homonyms. 

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