Nancy's Books

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Writing a Middle Grade Novel/Call for Submissions

Today, I’m continuing the series, Writing a Middle Grade Novel. 

Read books, lots of books. Find a book you love in the genre you’re writing. The first time you read, read for enjoyment; then reread to analyze why you enjoyed the book. Make notes. You may read parts of the book several times. 

How does the plot unfold? Does the author glide the protagonist into the storm or throw the character into the squall? How does the character react? Plotting the novel can help a writer roadmap the chain of events to the end. This outlining doesn’t have to be elaborate. Just number the chapters and write a sentence or two of the main action per chapter. This will aid in keeping the tension high. You may prefer to write more detailed plot outlines. Do whatever works for you. 

How does the author keep the tension high? Pay close attention to this aspect since tension is the key to holding a reader’s interest. Keep the protagonist in trouble. The adage, Treat the character badly; then treat him worse, adds tension to the plot and interest to the story. Notice how the author drives the plot by introducing more problems for the main character. How does the character react to each of the problems? The character needs to learn from mistakes and grow by the end of the story. 

How does the ending tie up the loose ends? Does the ending make sense? The reader invested a lot of time to reach the conclusion. Does the story have a satisfying ending? Is it a quick ending? Is there a twist, a surprise ending? Did the author choose a type of ending that suits the events that preceded it? 

Most of all, did you continue to think about the story after you finished the book? 

Great books resonate with readers long after they stop reading. 

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:

Writing Contest: “All About Love”—Tell us your tale: a first crush, an old flame, a treasured friend or family member, a passion for a special place…

Starting June 1, 2014, email your story of 2,500 to 3,000 words. You’ll be entered for a chance to win $2,000 and possible publication in a future issue of Good Housekeeping or on Be sure to provide your full name, phone number, and mailing address both in the email and on the submission itself.
Entries must be received by midnight September 1, 2014. One entry per person allowed. Submitted material cannot be returned or acknowledged. Winner will be notified by March 1, 2015.

Contest is open to anyone age 21 or older who is a legal resident of the United States, the District of Columbia or Canada (excluding Quebec).

One winner will receive $2,000 and possible publication of the winning story in a future issue or on

Submission guidelines at

No comments:

Post a Comment