- 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."
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: