5. “The most important skill of storytelling is listening.” -Richard Peck
Listen like a writer. Watch people. Eavesdrop. Read obituaries. Stories are everyone and everyone has stories.

6. Read your work aloud and listen to it like music. (several authors)
You will hear where your work is lacking or boring.

7. Be emotional but not sentimental. (several authors)
Do not reminisce. This is about childhood experience, not recollection. Just because it happened to you doesn’t make it interesting. Don’t trivialize childhood. You want to give hope, but you also need to be rough.

8. “It’s not a children’s book if the child doesn’t solve the problem at the end. -Richard Peck-
Children read to feel powerful, and the children in the books they read need to be powerful.

9. Read deeply.
Develop your own canon, your own body of children’s book writers that speak to you and tell you who you want to be as a writer.


    • Suzi

    • June 19, 2012

    • 1:21 pm

    I read the book I’m querying aloud. By the end, my throat was sore, (and I’m tired of my voice), but it definitely helps.

  1. I especially like the advice about writing your own canon, rather than trying to write like everyone else. I never read obituaries for story ideas before, but it’s an interesting concept. In a way, they’re similar to character sketches.

  2. Great points. I love the Richard Peck books I’ve read, so I’ll definitely take his advice. 🙂 And I love that point that we’re experiencing childhood when we write for children, not reminiscing about it. If we’re reminiscing, then it’s a book for adults.

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