The Way to Write for Children: An Introduction to the Craft of Writing Children's Literature

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9780312200480: The Way to Write for Children: An Introduction to the Craft of Writing Children's Literature

In addressing "the way to write for children," Joan Aiken starts at the beginning. Is writing a children's book as simple as it looks? Do you want to write for children or about them? Do you want to write a picture book for young children, a book for new readers, or a chapter book for preteens? Why is Beatrix Potter so beloved? E. Nesbit? A. A. Milne? Maurice Sendak?

After more than fifteen years as a writing shelf classic, The Way to Write for Children has been completely revised and updated. From analysis of what makes the best-loved children's books so successful, to where to look for inspiration, to practical advice on how to structure a plot, Aiken delivers an extremely useful book for anyone who's ever considered writing a children's book.

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Review:

Nearly everyone who has curled up with a child and a book has had the thought that he or she, too, could write a children's book. Joan Aiken, in a revised and updated version of her Way to Write for Children, cautions that it's not so easy. While books for the youngest readers may be simple, the best ones are far from simplistic. In this slender volume, Aiken alights on topics relevant to the writing of books for tots, 'tweens, and teens. And, as Jiminy Cricket is for Pinocchio, she acts as a conscience for children's book authors. "Since each child," she intones, "reads only about six hundred books in the course of childhood, each book should nourish them in some way." And if you're writing for teens? They are under enough pressure as it is to partake in adult activities, says Aiken. "Let not the fiction they are offered add to the pressure."

Aiken is adamant about what children's books shouldn't do (they cannot be boring, they must not condescend, and they shouldn't include bridge passages or flashbacks) but not prescriptive about how they should be written. Just keep in mind, she says, that reading, for children, is serious business, and "it is the writer's duty to demonstrate to children that the world is not a simple place." As for subject matter, says Aiken, there are enough alphabet books and animal stories to go around. Instead, she recommends, try to observe small children and their interests with the same intense concentration that they employ. "Stairs, cupboards, blankets, sinks, ovens, soap, shoes, clocks, knitting, paper-bags--all these can be full of mystery, excitement, and beauty." --Jane Steinberg

From the Publisher:

Praise for The Way to Write for Children:

"Hopeful authors exploring 'the way to write for children' could ask for no finer guide than Joan Aiken." --Lloyd Alexander, Newberry Award winner

"Joan Aiken has a very clear and unique voice which she brings to the Matter of Children's Books. Any writer who wants to learn the business--of writing--can learn much here." --Jane Yolen, Caldecott Medal and Skylark winner

"The Way to Write for Children is unquestionably bound to become the definitive practical guide for anyone wanting to enter a genre that looks so easy and turns out to be such a minefield for the unwary. But what I cherish in the book is Joan Aiken's passion.... Whether or not you hope to write for children, this is a book for the permanent shelf of every thoughtful writer." --Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn and The Innkeeper's Song

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. After more than fifteen years as a writing shelf classic, The Way to Write for Children has been completely revised and updated. From analysis of what makes the best-loved children s books so successful, to where to look for inspiration, to practical advice on how to structure a plot, Aiken delivers an extremely useful book for anyone who s ever considered writing a children s book. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780312200480

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Book Description St. Martin's Griffin. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 128 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.5in. x 0.2in.In addressing the way to write for children, Joan Aiken starts at the beginning. Is writing a childrens book as simple as it looks Do you want to write for children or about them Do you want to write a picture book for young children, a book for new readers, or a chapter book for preteens Why is Beatrix Potter so beloved E. Nesbit A. A. Milne Maurice SendakAfter more than fifteen years as a writing shelf classic, The Way to Write for Children has been completely revised and updated. From analysis of what makes the best-loved childrens books so successful, to where to look for inspiration, to practical advice on how to structure a plot, Aiken delivers an extremely useful book for anyone whos ever considered writing a childrens book. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780312200480

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