Children's Writing II — Syllabus

New York City classes

The syllabus varies from teacher to teacher, term to term. But many of the topics will be similar to those covered in the Online classes.

Online classes

Freshness: Various strategies for creating "fresh" stories, stories that will grab the attention of readers, agents, and editors.

Real Kids: Personality traits of various age ranges. Showing characters. Creating dimensional characters. Accessing the secret world of children. Handling adult characters.

Plot Questions: How to keep readers hooked by continually raising plot questions, in picture books and longer books. Use of subplots. Further hints on plotting.

Beginnings & Endings: Creating an effective beginning, in picture books and longer books. Creating an effective ending, in picture books and longer books.

POV Fine-Points: Fine-points of point of view, in first, second, and third person. When it's acceptable to alter a point of view strategy midstream. Handling thoughts. Exploration of psychic distance in point of view.

The Narrator: The value of an engaging narrator. Techniques for effective narrators in first, second, and third person point of views. Interactive narrators.

Pacing: Sticking to the "good parts." Manipulating speed, in picture books and longer books. Staying linear.

Pages & Scenes: How to make each page of a picture book effective. The marriage of words and pictures in picture books. How to create effective scenes in longer books.

Language: Stretching vocabulary. Handling syntax. Language refreshers. Exploration of language, in picture books and longer books.

The Publishing Game: How to write a great query letter. How to target the right agents and editors. How to gain the inside track on getting published.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.