Burning Questions

It’s the summer slump and I’m looking to beat the heat with some new questions from blog readers. I have a lot of ideas for new content that I’ve been encountering in my editing, but I’m curious to know what questions you have.

Post them in the comments. They can be anything to do with writing, publishing, the children’s market, etc. I’ll write responses as articles on the blog in the coming month.

10 Replies to “Burning Questions”

  1. Why is my social media filled with juvenile editors, agents, and art directors pimping their own books? Is this unethical as they are on salary or commission to help sell and promote the books they work on with their clients? I hardly see them promoting for anyone but themselves. What is this saying to those clients and anyone else trying to get published? This seems backwards (and gross).

  2. I’d really like to know about finding scenes for the middle of a story. I know about structure and the turning points, and the mid point, pitch points and cause and effect. But how does one brainstorm and find worthy and pertinent middle scenes to get to the second door of no return?

  3. When after the fourth or fifth go-round of editing every sentence I’ve ever written on a draft starts to sound stale and unnecessary, how can I keep the story fresh in my mind? How can I determine what it will sound like to readers, and if I’m just changing sentences to make it sound fresh to me or if there’s a genuine improvement going on? You mentioned these issues in one of your posts about revision in 2011, but I’m curious to see your thoughts in-depth and up to date.

  4. Are you open to YA questions? If so, I would really love a post analyzing love triangles, what makes them well-done or poorly done, etc.

  5. I’m a believer in “a book needs to stand alone” if it is part of a series. In my reading, I’ve gotten more frustrated by fewer and fewer ends being tied up in some high profile series and wonder if this reflects movement in the industry away from stand-alone manuscripts, or if I am just noticing it more.

  6. I have a question about POV and descriptions of character appearance. When writing in first person (or close 3rd), it seems unnatural to include information about the protagonist’s appearance or even the appearance of the other characters she already knows. Okay, maybe she’d comment on the appearance of a weird new teacher or her crush or something, but no one really spends time thinking about how their mom or their brother or their friend looks, right? So…do you think it’s legitimate to just leave it out or is it best to come up with some artful, sneaky way to include information about appearance? Can you give examples of how you have seen this done well?

  7. I have questions about POV too. Can you mix POV? For instance have your main character be 1st person but then have chapters from other characters in 3rd person? Or does it all have to stay 1st person?

    And if you are doing all 3rd person POV but switching characters POV, what are the rules? Just make sure there’s some form of chapter or page break to signify a character change?

    Thanks!

  8. Hello! I have a small question. Back when I read the Baby Sitters Club as a kid, I would always skim over the whole “introduction” to the club and group, which appeared in each book

    I am currently working on a chapter series and wonder if each book needs the “introduction” to the story, or if they are a bit unnecessary these days?

  9. Are you still doing questions? If so, I would love to know what you think about portal fantasy in YA. I’ve heard it’s a hard sell (along with containing some perhaps poor socio-cultural implications), but would you mind going more in depth on why? And are there any good YA portal fantasies out there? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *