Writing Children's Books For Dummies
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At some point after you have a solid draft of the children's book you're writing, you must begin the editing process. Here's a quick overview of the salient points to keep in mind.

  • If a sentence doesn't contribute to plot or character development, delete it.

  • Make sure your characters don't all sound the same when they speak.

  • If you have a page or more of continuous dialogue, chances are it needs tightening.

  • When changing place or time, or starting a new scene or chapter, provide brief transitions to keep your story moving smoothly.

  • Make sure to keep the pace moving from action to action, scene to scene, chapter to chapter.

  • If you find yourself using a lot of punctuation (!!!), CAPITAL LETTERS, italics, or bold, chances are your words aren't working hard enough for you.

  • When you can find one word to replace two or more words, do it.

  • Be careful with changing tenses midstream. If your story is told in the past tense, stick with it throughout. If present tense, then stick with that. Be consistent.

  • Watch excessive use of adjectives, adverbs, and long descriptive passages.

  • After you choose a point of view for a character, stick to it.

  • If your character hasn't changed at the end of your story, chances are he isn't yet fully fleshed out.

  • If your character talks to himself or does a lot of wondering aloud, he needs a friend to talk to.

  • If you're bored with a character, your reader will be, too.

  • If you can't tell your story in three well-crafted sentences: the first one covering the beginning, the second one alluding to the climax (the middle), and the last one hinting at the ending — you may not have a complete story yet.

  • If you find yourself overwriting because you're having trouble expressing exactly what you mean, sit back and say it aloud to yourself, and then try again.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Lisa Rojany is a writer and publishing professional. Lisa has her own company, Editorial Services of L.A., for writers of fiction and nonfiction.

Peter Economy is a Wall Street Journal best-selling business author and ghostwriter with more than 125 books to his credit, including multiple For Dummies titles.

Bob Nelson (San Diego, CA) is founder and president of Nelson Motivation, Inc., a management training and consulting firm based in San Diego, California. As a practicing manager and a best-selling author, he is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of employee recognition, rewards, motivation, morale, retention, productivity, and management. He is author of the bestselling book 1001 Ways to Reward Employees (Workman) — which has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide — and coauthor of the best-selling book Managing For Dummies, 2nd Edition, with Peter Economy (Wiley), as well as 18 other books on management and motivation.
Bob has been featured extensively in the media, including television appearances on CNN, CNBC, PBS, and MSNBC; radio appearances on NPR, USA Radio Network and the Business News Network; and print appearances in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and many more. He writes a weekly column for American City Business Journals and a monthly column for Corporate Meetings & Incentives, among others.
Dr. Nelson received his PhD in management from The Peter F. Drucker Graduate Management Center of Claremont Graduate University in suburban Los Angeles, and received his MBA in organizational behavior from The University of California at Berkeley. For more information on products and services offered by Nelson Motivation, Inc. — including speaking or consulting services — call 800-575-5521. Visit Bob at his Web site: www.nelsonmotivation.com.

Peter Economy (La Jolla, CA) is a freelance business writer and publishing consultant who is associate editor of the Apex award-winning magazine Leader to Leader, and coauthor of the best-selling book Managing For Dummies, 2nd Edition, with Bob Nelson (Wiley), Giving Back with Bert Berkley (Wiley), The SAIC Solution with J. Robert Beyster (Wiley), as well as the author or coauthor of more than 30 other books on a wide variety of business and other topics. Visit Peter at his Web site: www.petereconomy.com and be sure to check out his Free Book Project at: www.booksforfree.org.

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