Work with a developmental editor for 16 weeks to write the first draft of your children’s novel and revise that all-important first chapter 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.
Each of the 8 critique step modules has 7 lessons. (8×7=56 lessons)
Children’s Novel Workshop Critique Modules:
- Story Goals: What are your 5 goals for this story? (Ideas) Due first day of the workshop
- Meet the Star: Who is your main character? (Ideas) Free write.
- Meet the Cast: Who is the antagonist? (Ideas) Free write.
- World Building: Where does the story take place? (Ideas) Free write.
- Story Theme: What is the story’s emotional message? (Ideas) Free write.>
- Story Pitch: What happens in Act 1, Act 2, and Act 3? (Organization) Free write.
- Story Arc: How do the main character’s emotions change? (Organization) Finish your first draft and select a story arc.
- Story Ladder: What happens in the first chapter? (Organization) Revise chapter 1 and send in a story ladder.
- Point-of-View: Does the first chapter have a single narrator? (Voice) Revise chapter 1 again and send it in for critique.
- Wrapping Up: Final Manuscript Questions + Goals Review Due last day of the workshop
Be a Panster: Write 2-4 pages a day and complete your first draft before you select a story arc in Module 7.
Be a Plotter: Answer the guiding question for each critique step worksheet.
Q. Why are there more weeks than modules?
A. Children’s novels vary in length. An early chapter book can be 5000-12,000 words long, a middle grade novel is usually 20,000 to 55,000 words, and a young adult novel can be 55,000 to 90,000 words long, so flexibity is required.
BIC (Butt-In-Chair) Pantser Results:
500 words a day (2 pages) x 24 days = 12,000 = an early chapter book
500 words a day (2 pages) x 40 days = 20,000 = a young middle grade
500 words a day (2 pages) x 90 days = 45,000 = a middle grade novel
750 words a day (3 pages) x 73 days = 55,000 = MG or YA novel
1,000 words a day (4 pages) x 90 days = 90,000 = YA novel
If you have written your entire children’s novel when you reach the Story Arc Module (Finish your first draft and select a story arc) you can complete that module in a week. On the other hand, if you are not finished, you can keep writing your first draft when you reach this module and review a new story arc lesson each week until you hit the 90 day mark in week 13.
The goal is to complete the first draft of your novel in 90 days.
The goal is NOT a polished first draft. The goal is a MESSY first draft that gets the novel out of your head and onto the page, so you can set up chapter one of your NEXT draft and start revising in month four (not year two).
Ninety days is almost 13 weeks, so I have added two more weeks for you to revise chapter 1 (that all important “set up” chapter) and a third (and final) week to discuss your goals and ask questions.
Q. Do I have to write the first draft from beginning to end?
A. No. Write the scenes in the order that they come to you — every day — so you can complete your story before you select a story arc in module 7.
Q. Is it okay if I have already started my first draft?
A. Yes. Just keep writing until your reach the end of your story.
Q. Do I have to write ALL of the first draft?
A. Yes. After the story is out of your head and on the page, you will know what the book needs to say in chapter 1, the first “set up” chapter. (You can’t set up the book if you don’t know what is going to happen yet.)
Be a Panster: Write ALL of the first draft in modules 1-7.
Be a Plotter: After you select a story arc for module 7, decide what you need to “set up” chapter 1. Then write 2 drafts of chapter 1.
Q. Why do you want me to write two NEW drafts of chapter 1?
A. For module 8, write a new draft of chapter 1 and send it with a story ladder (an outline of the key actions and emotions in the chapter) so I can critique the Big Picture in your story ladder.
After the story ladder critique, write another draft of chapter 1 for module 9 and send it in for a manuscript critique.
Q. How long will it take you to critique my first chapter?
A. I will critique your first chapter within two business days. (I write my own books first thing in the morning and work one-on-one with individual writers in the afternoon Monday through Friday.)
Q. Can I ask questions about the suggestions you made on the manuscript?
A. Yes. In module 10, the final session of the workshop, we can discuss any questions you have about the manuscript suggestions I made. We will also review the goals you set for the workshop.
Q. After you critique my first chapter, can I send you the next chapter?
A. If you would like guidance as you revise your children’s novel, we can work together chapter by chapter or you can revise the entire novel and then send it in for a Children’s Novel WIP Critique. (WIP stands for work-in-progress).
Q. How long will it take you to critique my children’s novel?
A. I will critique a chapter of your children’s novel within two business days. Critiquing a completed novel requires a week or more, depending on the length (five to ten business days).
March 1 – June 14, 2017
Children’s Novel Workshop
(Novel Overview and Chapter 1)
Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.