Work with a developmental editor for 8 weeks to write the first draft of your children’s novel and revise the first chapter twice.
You will free write the first draft of your children’s novel (panster), select a story arc (plotter), and then rewrite (panster) and revise (plotter) the 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.
- Are you writing an early chapter book?
- Are you writing a middle grade novel?
- Are you writing a young adult novel?
There are 50+ lessons on the site.
Children’s Novel Workshop Syllabus:
- Story Goals: What are your 5 goals for this story? (Ideas) Due first day of the workshop
- Story Topic: What topics does the story cover? (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 5.
Be a Plotter: Answer the guiding question for each critique step worksheet.
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.)
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 NOW.
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 5.
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.
Be a Panster: Write ALL of the first draft in modules 1-5.
Be a Plotter: After you select a story arc for module 5, decide what you need to “set up” chapter 1. Then write 2 NEW drafts of chapter 1.
Q. Why do you want me to write two NEW drafts of chapter 1?
A. For module 6, 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 7 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 8, 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.
January 10 – February 28, 2018
Children’s Novel Workshop
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