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Writing Fiction for Children

Whether you're nurturing your first idea for a children's book or have a published book or two under your belt, Judy K. Morris will delight you, guide and inspire you, challenge and encourage you, and improve your chances of reaching the ultimate goal of every children's book author: your reader inside your story and your story inside your reader.A published author of both fiction and nonfiction for children, Morris draws on extensive experience teaching children how to write and teaching adults how to write for children. Here she combines concrete methods and step-by-step techniques with succinct rules of thumb: work at making your novel whole from the start; never underestimate the power of the plain truth; personality quirks are no substitute for character; doing a good job of writing usually means doing a good job of rewriting.Using judiciously chosen examples from successful children's literature, Writing Fiction for Children covers the building blocks of plot, characters, and setting and addresses common problems such as awkward plotting, oversimplifying, and taking a preachy or self-conscious tone.Pragmatic exercises stimulate writers to scour their experiences, sharpen their powers of observation, and capture the details, voice, and narrative energy that can bring stories vividly to life and keep readers submerged in make-believe. Loaded with practical advice and helpful exercises, Writing Fiction for Children is especially useful for anyone who aspires to write for children in the "middle ages" of eight to twelve.Children's books should be hopeful, thrilling, funny, interesting, touching, and a pleasure to read, Morris says. Above all, they must have something at stake that matters. While conceding that only the author can provide the spark of a story to tell, Morris offers invaluable guidance on the daily work of crafting, shaping, refining, revising, and publishing a children's novel.
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A practical, time- and workshop-tested approach to writing fiction for children, entertainingly told.


"Judy Morris's book is entertaining and intelligent, but the exercises make it extraordinary. They will help both novices and seasoned authors gain insight and move forward with their writing." -- Jane Leslie Conly, author of Crazy Lady!, a Newbery Honor Book "Lest anyone doubt that writing for children is both an art and a craft, here's strong evidence. An experienced writer and teacher of writing, Judy Morris leads would-be authors through the nuanced stages of developing plot, character, setting, structure, style, and voice. She combines practical exercises with specific examples from landmark fiction, underscoring the whole with a deep respect for children and the stories that engage them. For those aspiring to publish in the realm of children's literature, this book will prove a valuable companion." -- Betsy Hearne, author of Choosing Books for Children

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