So, Jane Barclay came to school yesterday -- she was great! She spoke both about writing creative non-fiction and picture book texts. Jane is the author of three picture books, including the prize-winning How Cold Was It?
Here's some of what Jane had to tell us: "Learn to be your own editor." Jane discussed how difficult it is to find a publisher -- so that when you are readyto submit a manuscript, you really need to be sure it's as close to perfect as possible. She described editing as: "polishing, taking what you have and making it even better." Jane also recommended reading your work out loud -- of course, this is especially important with the text of a picture book, since, if your project sells, it will be read aloud thousands and tens of thousands (hopefully!) of times. Jane also made an excellent point about the importance of finding quiet time to write. She advises aspiring writers to turn off their cell phones, quit checking their email -- and get down to the business of writing.
Okay then, I don't need to turn off my cell phone (believe it or not, I don't own one!!), but I'm going to ignore my email -- and get back to my revision. Have a good afternoon and evening wherever you are!
I loved "How Cold Was It?"! It brought me back ot my childhood self, and I agree with what she said about repetition -- that it maintains the children's attention and makes them feel like they can be a part of the story. I also found it interesting that she likes the editing part of being an author -- I understand her point of view, and it probably does help to minimise distractions, but it's still not my cup of tea. However, I can't see myself avoiding my phone and e-mails for long periods of time... I'm too afraid of missing something important! Good luck with the rewrite of your book