Tonight's guest post is by my husband, Brice, who stole the computer from me because I was wailing about not wanting to write anything. (For this behavior, he tried to write down that I called him a “vile betrayer!” but I actually just called him a “dreamyacht.”)
Here's what he has to say:
I specialize in very short format stories for children.* The most important elements for children's verbal fiction are:
1. Include something they like, like dinosaur princesses or robot snails.
2. Either keep the plot moving smartly along or take as many detours as you can.
3. Unexpected is good. It keeps them interested way longer than familiar plot arcs and characters.
4. Dramatic gestures, interpretive dance, and crazy faces really help a story come alive.
What, dare I ask, does this have to do with you? Well, if you are a dinosaur princess, I would like to talk to you about starring in my next book. The role of robot snail is already taken, sorry. For the rest of you, I can tell you that three of my four suggestions will work for your writing as well (although I make no guarantees about which three). This list is handily parallel to my last list:
|Looks like a dinosaur princess to me!|
1. Know thy reader, what what? If they're here for a nice PG rated romance, you can change the settings, characters, etc., but make sure at the end of the day that they get some tension about whether the girl gets the guy, plenty of longing, some exciting kissing, and a happy ending.
2. A nice fast pace with lots of plot developments can keep people interested even if there's not too much else going on. Terrible at plot? Try being literary, with atmosphere, alliteration, and apatosauruses. Ok, it turns out I'm bad at being literary.**
3. Totally stuck on your story? Add in the oddest thing you can think of for a scene or two, then once your characters react to it, take it back out again and rewrite the scene focused on the emotions and interplay they had.
4. Good cover art, illustrations, marginalia, or maps really appeal to some people. If you get published, post your victory interpretive dance on youtube with a link to buy your book. You might go viral.
And there you have it, folks! Until next time, when I might actually get around to writing my own MMW post!
* Jeanna interprets: AKA bedtime stories.
** It’s true, he is really bad at being literary. But he’s really good at being funny, random, and imaginative, all of which is waaaay better than being literary anyway.