Anastasia Suen

Developmental Editor

Category: critique (Page 1 of 3)

Write a Children’s Book

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Q. I want to write my own children’s book. Where do I start?
A.
Start by reading, reading, reading! The children’s books on the shelves will help you write your book, revise your book, and sell your book!

Q. How can reading children’s books help me write my own book?
A.
Reading recently published books like the ones that you want to write can help you see how other authors handled your topic or theme. These books can help you learn your craft.

Reading new books will also help you see what editors are buying. Editors look at other books on your topic or theme to help them decide if they will buy your book or not. If that’s what the agents and editors do, then you need to do it too!

This is why I post a new booktalk Monday through Saturday!

Q. How long should my children’s book manuscript be?
A.
The length of the book depends on the age of the child who will be reading it. The older the child is, the longer the book will be. Check the word count guides at:

Q. Do I need an agent to sell my book? Or do I send it to editors?
A.
If you send your book to editors first (and don’t sell it) most agents will NOT want to handle that book later because the book has already been shopped. If you think you might want to work with an agent, start that search first.

Q. What do agents charge?
A. Reputable agents do NOT charge a fee
to read your work or to send it out. The agent is paid on commission, so no money changes hands until the book sells–and it is the publisher who pays the agent, not the writer. Most agents take a 15% commission, so they earn 15% of all funds paid for the sales they make.

Q. Why should I pay an agent 15%?
A.
An agent can send your book to publishers that are “closed” to submissions.

FYI: When you send your book to an editor that you have never met at a “closed” publishing house, your work will not be read. Some send it back to you while others toss it in the trash. Delete!

Q. How can I find an agent?
A.
Follow the directions on my How to Find a Literary Agent page.

Of course, none of this will happen if you don’t write the book first! So begin at the beginning. Start reading, reading, reading–and then start writing!

Are you ready to work with a writing mentor?

The author of 275 books for children, teens, and adults, I have been working as a developmental editor with writers from all levels of the continuum (beginner to already published) since 1999. Some of my writers sold the books they wrote or revised in the critiques while others continued to master their craft and sold their first book later.

  1. If you want guidance as you write your first draft, sign up for the Intensive Picture Book Workshop or the Children’s Novel Workshop.
  2. If you want guidance to take your completed children’s book manuscript to the next level, sign up for a Picture Book WIP Critique or a Children’s Novel WIP Critique via email or phone.

Let’s start working together!

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Nonfiction Picture Book Workshop

The Nonfiction Picture Book Workshop is back!

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I’ve updated all of the Nonfiction Picture Book Workshop lessons
and added them to the Intensive Picture Book Workshop.

Work with a developmental editor for 8 weeks to write the first draft of
your nonfiction picture book and revise it twice.

You will free write the first draft (panster), select a story arc (plotter), and then rewrite (panster) and revise (plotter) your picture book manuscript twice.

All of the writing lessons, goal worksheets, and critique worksheets are on a private site. After you sign up, I will send you a password.

There are 70+ lessons on the site.

  • There are lessons for preschool concept books.
  • There are lessons for picture book biographies.
  • There are lessons for information books.

Choose the lessons that match your manuscript.

My writing students come from all levels of the continuum, from beginner to advanced. Some students sold the books they wrote in the workshops while others continued to master their craft and sold their first book later. Are you ready to work with a writing mentor? Are you looking for a writing class to help you start your book? Sign up for a workshop critique so we can start working together!

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

May 4-June 22, 2016 Intensive Picture Book Workshop

Work with a developmental editor as you write and revise your picture book.

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Q. How will you critique my children’s book manuscript?
A. I will work with you for 8 weeks via email to help you “find the story inside the story” of your children’s book manuscript. Weeks 1 and 8 are “goals” weeks. Weeks 2-7 are critique steps. Your work will be due each Wednesday.

A new module will open 6 weeks in row. You have 7 days to read the 7 lessons and complete the critique step worksheet.

Intensive Picture Book Workshop Critique Steps:

  1. Story Goals: What are your 5 goals for this story? (Ideas)
  2. Story Topic: What topics does the story cover? (Ideas)
  3. Story Theme: What is the story’s underlying social message? (Ideas)
  4. Story Pitch: What happens in Act 1, Act 2, and Act 3? (Organization)
  5. Story Arc: How do the main character’s emotions change? OR Which idea patterns do you use? (Organization)*
  6. Storyboard: How is the story paced page by page in a picture book? (Organization)
  7. Point-of-View: Does the story have a single narrator? (Voice)
  8. Wrapping Up: Final Manuscript Questions + Goals Review

*Yes, I critique nonfiction picture books!

Intensive Picture Book Workshop Syllabus:

A story has three parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end. Each part, each act, has a different job to do.

In the Intensive Picture Book Workshop you will learn how to:
1. show and tell your picture book story (without writing art notes).
2. answer the guiding questions for each act in your picture book story.

Act 1: Picture Book Beginnings

The 3 P’s: A Person in a Place with a Problem

Module 1: Who is the narrator?
Module 2: Uh-oh! What’s wrong? (A story starts when something changes.)

Act 2: Picture Book Middles

The 3 C’s: Conflict, Complications, CRISIS!

Module 3: What conflict does the main character encounter?
Module 4: Are things getting more complicated for the main character? Does it lead to a CRISIS?

Act 3: Picture Book Endings

The 3 E’s: Enlightenment, Energy, Emotion

Module 5: What does the main character finally realize?
Module 6: What does the main character finally do to solve the story problem?

Each module has a mentor text example lesson in each genre: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

My writing students come from all levels of the continuum, from beginner to advanced. Some students sold the books they wrote in the workshops while others continued to master their craft and sold their first book later.

Are you ready to work with a writing mentor? Are you looking for a writing class to help you start your book or take your work to the next level? Sign up for a workshop critique so we can start working together!

Copyright © 2016 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

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