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8 Articles to Help You Write a #kidlit Novel

Novelists, here are some blogs that will help you begin, organize and revise your novel. Special thanks to our faculty for the insights, especially K.L.Going and Clara Gillow Clark, co-faculty for our Novel Beginnings workshop.

Get Your Novel Off to a Great Start

Is Your Novel Opening as Strong as It Can Be?
You might have as few as five pages to impress readers of your novel. Here are 5 tips to make your opening a strong one! Read more.

2 Writing Teachers Talk About Giving Your Novel a Great Start
Recognize right from the start that the opening of your novel is going to take multiple revisions in order to get it right. It’s going to take work. Editing. Taking the time to think through those fundamental decisions about what makes your character and plot tick will make your book so much stronger later on. Read more.

Use Research, Imagination & Emotion to Build Your Novel
There’s something mysterious about the way the passion you feel in your mind and heart gets transferred onto the page. It doesn’t seem like a reader should be able to tell how I feel as I write, but over and over again, I’ve seen the results. When I am deeply emotional about a scene, it works. Read more.

Organizing & Revising Your Novel

Shrink Your Manuscript, by Darcy Pattison
Writing a great scene is easy. A novel, however, adds layer after layer of complexity until it’s hard to keep everything straight. What novelists need is a simple way to take the abstract and make it visual. Writing teacher Darcy Pattison uses the “shrunken manuscript” technique to visualize a novel’s narrative arc, the emotional journey and much more. Read more.

Who, What, Where, and Usually Why: Revising Scenes, by Sage Blackwood
When I draft and revise my novels, I divide them into scenes. A scene is a capsule of story. It’s usually one sequence of action, in one setting, in one moment of time. When time and place have changed, that’s a new scene. Here are some things I look for when revising a scene. Read more.

Writing for #kidlit Genres

Tips to Create Unforgettable Historical Fiction, by Ashley Hope Pérez
Here are a few strategies that can help you coordinate your efforts to build an unforgettable world and an unforgettable story in your fiction. Read more.

On Writing the Dark & Twisted, by Nova Ren Suma
The ultimate labels don’t matter to me. What I care about is writing a gripping, memorable story—with characters that intrigue and make you want to follow them anywhere. I care about digging deep, and excavating some emotional and psychic demons. Read more.

The Verse Novel: If I Can Do It, So Can You, by Kathryn Erskine
I’ve come to realize that the vehicle for delivering a story is critical. Even a joke packs more punch if you get the timing right. Some stories crave the picture book format. Some require a novel. Read more.

Novel Elements: Character, Voice & Dialogue

Blogs about developing character
Blogs about finding and refining your writing voice
Blogs about writing dialogue


If you’re just starting to write your novel, or if you’ve got a draft and want to improve it, join us for Novel Beginnings: Building Strong Foundations for Your Novel and Your Career, August 8-11. Co-faculty K.L. Going and Clara Gillow Clark are both experienced authors with great teaching and editing experience.

register now

Posted on: May 14, 2019

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