Knowledge Base » Improving Your Craft

 

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FAQ: Creating a Memorable Title for Your Book

What makes for a great title? How do we come up with evocative titles? What role do publishers and editors play in title selection? Should you hold out for your original title, even in the face of editorial requests that you change it? What if you are doing a trilogy or series of books, how will that influence your titles? Can titles be copyrighted?

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VIDEO – Using Real People in Fictional Stories

 

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Watch Our Expert Guide Webinar!

On October 9, Fightin' Bookworms from across the globe joined us live as we answered some of your most pressing questions.  We recorded the webinar…and here it is!

(quick note — we lost video near the very beginning and about halfway through.  It's just a minute or two, and the

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Ask the Author: Dian Curtis Regan

One of the most versatile and accomplished writers in children’s literature shares her advice!

 

Over the years, we’ve given readers, aspiring authors and lovers of children’s literature the opportunity to interact directly with some of their favorite writers. The result: a number of revealing conversations with some remarkable authors. We’re proud to present a few of the best

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Plot Guidelines for Writing in Different Fiction Genres

From mysteries to thrillers to historical fiction – learn the rules of the road for developing your plot.

 

Genre writing requires particular attention to plot, as each genre has its own unique plot structure. When creating your characters and determining your story’s catalyst, keep in mind where the overall

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Ordinary Characters, Extraordinary Feats

I admit it. I love superheroes. I love their super strength, super powers, super intelligence, and super good looks. However, I don’t write about superheroes. I write about ordinary people doing extraordinary things despite insurmountable odds. Is that not the measure of true greatness?

 

Find Your Strengths as a Writer

Does your critique group laugh in all the right places when you read your humorous picture book out loud? Do they ask for more at the end of a pivotal chapter in your middle grade mystery? As you continue to work on your manuscript and get feedback, you’ll learn where

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Creating Realistic, Well-Rounded Primary Characters

If you’ve studied fiction writing you know that characters rule. Above all, your protagonist must leap off the page as a living, breathing being. Your antagonist (the force working against your main character) must be similarly real. But if you’re writing an adventure story, or a thriller with a breakneck

PODCAST – Middle Grade Author Donna Gephart on Reaching Young Readers

Laura chats with award-winning author Donna Gephart  about writing humorous middle grade fiction,  tapping into the concerns of that age group, and reaching her market. Visit www.donnagephart.com to see the trailer for her newest novel, How to Survive Middle School.

 

 

 

Listen now:

[audio:http://cbiclubhouse.com/clubhouse/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Interview-Donna-Gephart.mp3]

Or right click and

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Exercise: Point of View & Character Depth

Place the main character from your story in a setting that’s not in your plot (the mall, a classroom, your own home, etc.) Write a scene in the First Person Viewpoint with your main character narrating his/her reaction to the setting.

Then write the same scene in Third Person Limited.

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Working with Point of View

 

Choosing a point of view is one of the decisions you’ll need to make before you can tell your story. Most children’s books are written in one of three common viewpoints, defined in the sidebar to the right. The viewpoint is often dictated by your story and your skills as

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A Quick Visit with Author & Editor Diane Muldrow

Diane Muldrow is an established editor and children’s author of many books for all ages.

Her books include the Dish Series, Groovy Girls Series, Mama, Where are You? and Mama, What’s in There?   She was interviewed for The CBI Clubhouse by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff

 


As an author who has a

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How to “Show, Don’t Tell”

“Show, Don’t Tell” is shorthand for writing in a way that draws the reader into the story and keeps the author in the background. Here are some pointers for learning this important writing technique.

 

Let’s being with a definition. “Telling” uses abstract, general terms (The dog was big and scary.

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Endings That Deliver

Have you ever gotten to the end of a book and thought “So what?” Did it make you want to read more by that author, or recommend the book to a friend? Satisfying endings go hand in hand with strong beginnings in framing the reader’s experience. No matter how masterfully written the rest of the story, if the ending is a letdown it overshadows everything that came before.

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How to Develop a Sub-Plot

 

If you’re writing a book that’s longer than an easy reader or early chapter book, you’re going to need sub-plots. Sub-plots give heft to longer fiction and allow you to introduce more characters and other aspects of your protagonist’s life. Well-crafted sub-plots are related to the main action plot

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VIDEO – Using Animals or Inanimate Objects as Main Characters

How do you develop a main character that isn’t exactly human?  Laura’s got the answer for you!