Head on over to my critique group's blog where you'll find me today. I'm discussing how to grow as a writer, which is better than me growing as a florist.
So I finished writing my first middle grade novel last month and wanted to share with you what I learned. Going from writing picture books to a novel is quite different, yet some things stayed the same. I made this Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the two.
I'm a plotter, and so I sketched out each chapter and created my characters. However, my muse didn't always follow the outline, which is good. And as I got deeper into each chapter, my characters became more alive to me and even changed. I remember adding to their character sketches as I went along. My characters became a little bossy and sometimes took the story in a new way. And new minor characters introduced themselves that weren't even planned. I think it's a good idea to have a vision and rough outline to begin with and then let the story come alive and unfold as you write. I've sent it out to the first batch of beta readers. We'll see if it's any good. :) If you have any revision tips, let me know!!
My Pinterest for Writers Part 2 is on the grog blog today. I'll meet you there!
I hope you had a wonderful Easter and Passover weekend! God is good! I'm almost done with the first draft of my first middle grade novel, only three chapters left! I have no idea if it's any good, but I'm glad I wrote it. I've learned so much which I'll share in an upcoming post.
I'm over at the grog blog today discussing how writers use Pinterest. Meet me there, and if you have other Pinterest ideas for writers, do share!
My wonderful writing friend, Laura Sassi, nominated me for the "Very Inspiring Blogger Award" the beginning of February. Thanks, Laura! If you haven't yet read Laura's debut picture book, do so-- Goodnight, Ark illustrated by Jane Chapman.
The Very Inspiring Blogger Award rules are:
• Display the award on your blog
• Link back to the person who nominated you
• State 7 things about yourself
• Nominate 15 bloggers, link to them, and notify them about their nominations.
1. I'm a mom of two taekwondo kids, both 2nd degree black belts.
2. I grew up in Iowa but not on a farm.
3. I love God and read the Bible every day.
4. My favorite drink is Dr. Pepper; although now that I'm getting older, I don't drink it as much.
5. I have homeschooled my kids for 4.5 years now.
6. I'm getting better in Korean cooking.
7. I'd like to learn how to write a middle-grade novel. This is where I need your help! I've spent the past five years learning the craft of writing picture books. What great resources do you use to write a fiction novel? I started a board on Pinterest to save relevant links. And...I sort of have a deadline because I'd like to submit this novel in a contest due 9/1. Do you think it's doable to learn, write, revise in only five months? Please, please, please give me your tips and advice in the comments!
And lastly, I nominate these people to carry on the award:
Catherine Johnson--"Feed Your Imagination Here" blog, full of creativity and art
Laura Purdie Salas--"Writing the World for Kids" blog, poetry for kids and teachers
Erik the Kid--"This Kid Reviews Books" blog, a great book review blog by Erik, 13 yrs old
Cathy Hall--"Writing and Fishing" blog, great writerly tips and advice
Nancy I. Sanders--"Blogzone," lessons and advice on all things writing
Darshana Khiani--"Flowering Minds," great children's book reviews
Hannah Holt--"Lightbulb Books," book reviews and crafts for little ones
Diane Tulloch--"The Patient Dreamer," children's book reviews
Carrie Finison--"The Story Patch," book reviews and children's picture book info
Vivian Kirkfield--"Picture Books Help Kids Soar," book reviews and writing info
Mirka Breen--"Mirka Muse," great wisdom and writer advice
Welcome back to our last installment of learning about Teachers Pay Teachers.
Just to recap, if you want to learn what Teachers Pay Teachers is, read this post. If you want to experiment with fonts and clip art for a TpT product, read here.
Now I'll give you links to watch videos on how to put together your cover and packet using Power Point. This is how I learned. My latest cover is on the left. I used a photo of our former pet, free clip art frames and fonts, and illustrations provided by my daughter.
You Tube Videos to watch:
How to Make a Cover
Creating Covers That Sell
How to Make a Preview
Making Money on TpT
How to Upload Your Project
Inspiring Video: How a teacher made a million dollars on TpT
If you've started a store on TpT, be sure to let me know in the comments so I can visit! Have fun being creative! And if you have any questions, ask away. I'm still learning, but I'll try my best to help you.
Hi Everyone! Happy February, the love month!
I'm participating in my writer friend's, Carrie Finison's Book Love Blog Hop. We want to share some love of books by leaving reviews on web sites or social media. Here's what Carrie has to say:
"It’s a tough world out there for books and their authors. They need our support now more than ever. So this month, we’re playing Cupid for a while and spreading some BOOK LOVE around by setting aside a few minutes to give more public support to some of the books we’ve enjoyed recently – and tagging some reader friends to do the same!
Do you want to play Cupid with me? Here’s how the hop works:
BOOK LOVE Blog Hop Instructions
1. Pick some books you love (any genre) that you think deserve more attention than they are getting. (As much as I love The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle does not need my help to sell more copies! I’ve tried to choose books I thought needed a little boost, or ones I love that no one else seems to have heard of.)
2. Post reviews for the books you chose on Amazon/social media. The reviews can be brief – even a short review on Amazon helps. Posting on Goodreads or Shelfari is great, too, or Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. The more places you can publicly proclaim your love, the better!
3. If you want, you can also post the reviews on your own blog, or link your blog back to your reviews on social media.
4. Feel free to display the BOOK LOVE badge on your blog – and if you want, link it back to this post so your visitors know what it’s all about." It was created by Dana Carey, another writer friend.
Here are the books I'm leaving reviews for.
The Story Catcher by Donna Martin published by Anaiah Press, January 2015.
This is a debut book for my writer friend, Donna Martin!
A whimsical picture book, perfect for those who are interested in and for those just learning how to read. How can little ones catch the words and make them behave so they can read the story? Check my review on amazon.
The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins, published by Beach Lane Books, Sept. 2013
I love picture book biographies, and this one doesn't disappoint. Find out how one woman changed the landscape of San Diego by planting trees! Kate Sessions had many firsts in her life, an inspirational read, especially for girls.
Red Kite, Blue Kite by Ji-li Jiang, published by Disney-Hyperion, 2013
This is a touching story of a boy and his father who love to fly kites. But when his father is taken away to a labor camp during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the kites become a way for them to communicate. A beautiful, lyrical read for picture book lovers!
Welcome back to part 2 of our series of making a product for Teachers Pay Teachers. Today I want to discuss fonts and clip art.
As you can see on the cover of my latest product, I used three types of fonts. There are places where you can get free fonts, and my favorite site is from kevin and amanda.com. Go ahead browse their fun fonts, download, and have fun playing with them. In order to get your computer to use the new font, once you download it, you need to go to your computer's control panel, click on appearance & personalization, and open the fonts folder. I cut and paste the downloaded font icon into the font folder. The next time you open Microsoft Word or Power Point, the new font will be available.
The cover is the first impression of your product and could make a difference as to whether someone looks at it (same as designing a book). So you want to make a quality cover using great clip art. But if you're just starting out, like me, you might not have funds to invest in loads of clip art. No problem because TpT has some FREE clip art available as well. You just have to make sure you credit the creator. The snowman on the right is free from a winter collection on TpT. If you click it, the link should take you to the store on TpT. So go ahead and try finding some clip art on TpT. Click "clip art" on the left menu, type in the search bar what you're looking for, and you can also narrow it to free or paid clip art. Download a set to your computer. I made a folder called clip art where I keep mine.
In our next post, we'll discuss making a cover. So collect those fonts and clip art collections!
Tina M. Cho, children's author
I'm a children's author and freelance writer for the educational market. Welcome!