OWTK KidLit + Comics / Parenting Blog

The New Favorite Thing

Yeah, yeah.  So it might be narcissistic of her but the Bear’s new favorite pre-bedtime ritual is hearing me read aloud from the book I am writing about, well, her. And her sister.

You see, I offer something Steig, Sendak, Yolen, and Krosoczka don’t and can’t.  Sure, they’ve got talent on their side but how far can that realistically take them?  Okay, pretty far it turns out.  Nevermind.  In lieu of writerly skill, I happen to have a pair of girls who’ve provided me with the title and the basis of a story that is so very strong. And I say that not as a proud papa or as a hopeful author but as a guy who has read a lot of quality kid lit.  What the Bear & Mouse have bequeathed to me is solid gold.  All I am tasked with is not screwing it up.  And really, how hard can that be? 😉

I’ve taken to writing more of this tale every single day.  Forming good writing habits that I’ve never been in possession of.  This means not waiting for inspiration.  This means writing even when what is flowing from my mind to my fingertips is barely of 4th-grade quality.  This means committing myself to writing pages when I’ve seemingly got nothing to say.

I’m writing to discover; to see where the characters want to go and to see what action will occur.  Aside from the rough sketch of the initial idea and the spine-tastic title, I haven’t a clue as to where this sisterly story is heading.  This is the sugar-rush exciting, and SAT test nerve-racking, part of the process.  But I’ve tried to plan plot points in fiction writing before to mixed results so I figured I’d give this method try.  So far, so good.

The girls huddle around me in bed each night to discover, only hours after I’ve discovered, what the fictional them is up to next.  During these unedited author readings (ha!) I always start from the beginning which helps me to hear – again and again – how the story sounds out loud.  I need this as a writer, even for little stuff here on OWTK and CD review blurbs elsewhere.  It’s gotta sound good verbally not just on the screen.  That has never been more true now, with this book that’ll likely be, when all is said and done, a chapter book along the lines of an Ivy & Bean; not gargantuan in its scope but not a picture book either.

Whether this volume will ever see the light of day or be heard by children other than my own is anyone’s guess but I’m open to discussing a book deal if you’ve got one to offer.  I don’t desire an eye-popping payday, just a modest chance.

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