This weekend I’m celebrating the release of my new junior fiction title, Homework on Pluto published by Maverick, and as part of that I’ll be giving away a free signed copy to the lovely readers of this blog. To take part, just comment on this post and I will choose a winner at random on 15 May by printing them out and putting them in a hat. (A sou’wester probably, judging by the weather at the moment…)
Junior fiction or chapter books are great fun to write. Here are my tips:
- Write to the right length. 6-10,000 words are what you are aiming for. So think in terms of 6 chapters of 1000 words each to give you a rough outline.
- Keep it punchy. You’ve got a lot to fit in to make a complete book work within this small space, so don’t waste words on lengthy descriptions or long dialogue exchanges.
- Write a series. Readers this age (around 6-10) love series. Conversely, your first book should be able to stand alone, just in case it doesn’t get followed up. And you only need present one book to the publisher, as long as it has series potential.
- Create memorable characters. Think Mr Gum, Horrid Henry, Flat Stanley… The character is the book.
- Utilise humour. Don’t be afraid to be silly. Silliness is underrated.
Homework on Pluto is available to order from all good bookshops, The Book Depository or Amazon.
After having had several enquiries about manuscript assessments, I have decided to launch my own critique service. Simply choose your rate depending on the length of your manuscript and email to me. Once I have received your payment (Paypal or bank transfer) I will aim to respond to you within 6-8 weeks. You can also include your synopsis and covering letter for each manuscript for free! Payment is per thousand words. For a longer book, why not send the first three chapters plus synopsis and covering letter for an appraisal of your complete submission package?
My critique includes:
- Assessment of pace, plot, characters, dialogue and your author voice.
- Advice on grammar and punctuation.
- Help with presentation and layout.
- Suggestions on how to edit your work.
- Areas to work on, and most importantly, your strengths!
- Appraisal of your submission package, if applicable.
I specialise in picture books and young fiction as that’s the age group I’m published in, but I’m happy to look at any writing for children up to young adult.
Please see Critique Service page for current prices.
Plus free synopsis and cover letter critique with each manuscript!
Payment should be via paypal to lou dot treleaven at sky dot com or bank transfer (please email me for details). I look forward to hearing from you!