Monday, September 3, 2012

Middle Grade

I'm in the middle of a middle grade novel. It's my third novel, but the first one I've written that I intended to be for an under-13 audience. I'd been rereading a lot of Roald Dahl and Jerry Spinelli and E.B. White when I started writing, so I decided to try it.

Wow. Middle grade authors are amazing.

Books like Savvy and Holes make everything seem so effortless--the accessible language, the colorful characters, the story, the magic. But it is NOT effortless. I am here to tell you, in the midst of my second draft, that writing MG is hard, hard work and I have more respect than ever before for authors who can write those wonderful, quirky books that get kids reading. I'm afraid I'm overwriting (I'm prone to that), and it's tricky trying to balance details with character and plot while keeping everything clear. Good news is, I'm only on my second draft (or first draft, if I choose to count my last effort as a zero draft), and so I've got plenty of time to revise! Plus there's fun stuff to work with. Pill bugs, books inside the medicine cabinet, a talk-show radio host versus a girl named Opal. We'll see how it all comes together!

But if anyone has tips on writing or editing middle grade novels in particular, I'm sure I could use them!

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