Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rachel Wade's Advice

Rachel Wade is a senior editor at Hodder's Children's Books. Her advice to get your children's books noticed by publishers is:
  • From the moment you submit your manuscript be as professional as possible, remember you are trying to enter into a business agreement.
  • The hook is what really drives the book.
  • Create plot and characters you can’t leave when you start reading about them. Need to draw the reader into the book and catch their attention.
  • Have characters they can believe in.
  • Story and character are absolute key.
  • Pace is becoming faster as a lot of things are competing for attention.
  • You have to catch the reader in the first few sentences.
  • Once you’ve got a good character and the reader hooked from the beginning you can do what you like in the rest of the book.
  • Find one line that sums up what your book is about.
  • Good self-editing is crucial.
  • Show don’t tell. If your character is anxious don’t say so, write what they are doing because they are anxious.
  • Give your manuscript to as many 10- to 12-year-old kids as you can find, they will be outspoken, which can be painful but good for the book. Hodder runs a children’s book circle from a secondary school in London, to get immediate feedback about a title at manuscript level. Lucy said, “In general, kids say what they think."

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