Nancy's Books

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Writing a Middle Grade Novel/Calls for submissions

This week, I’m continuing my focus on scenes. 

How did the character react? The character should remain true to his/her identity. If outgoing, use that personality throughout the story. A shy character should not suddenly become the life of the party. 

What is the main character’s dilemma? An old adage of writing novels is treat the character badly; then treat him/her worse. Dilemma is a situation in which the character has no good options available so s/he has to choose the best of the poor choices. This throws the character out of his normal life and into a situation in which he is not ready to handle, so future mistakes will be inevitable. This is a set-up for upcoming scenes in which the character will work through different choices and fail even more. It also allows the character to learn and grow by the end of the tale. 

Reaction is the response to the dilemma. Express the character’s feelings along with the reactions. Show how the character is hurting. The more you create an emotional experience for the reader, the better your writing becomes. This can be shown through narrative, dialog, gestures, expressions, and how the character decides what to do next; then acts on the decision. Make your reader wonder if the character can ever get out of the situation. Make the reader worry. Make the reader want to find out how the story ends. 

Next week, I’ll continue to discuss scene development. 

Call for Submissions for Young Writers:
Magic Dragon. Work should be neatly printed or typed. If you type it, please double-space. Stories and essays can be up to three pages, poetry up to 30 lines. It is ok to send writing that you have also illustrated. You can write about anything that is important to you; it can be serious or funny, true or fiction.
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: THANKS TO MY MOM. We're looking for stories about moms of all ages, from young mothers to great-grandmothers, and everything in between. Please remember, we no longer publish "as told to" stories. Please write in the first person about you and your mom. Do not ghostwrite a story for someone else unless you list that person as the author. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story and you will retain the right to resell it. Deadline October 20, 2014.

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