Heidi Feidler has worked on over 300 Children’s Books.
Can I just say 300 books? 300 titles! As Heidi made clear on the show, she did not write all 300 of these books. She has emphasized that children’s books are shorter than adult books. Even so, she’s been a developmental or series editor and was involved with significant aspects of all 300. We have a lot to learn from this lady.
Whether you are into writing children’s books or not, her insights on structure and planning out books for continuity, plot, and to keep things engaging and exciting are essential for any writer. We also explore the ways visual elements and words have to work together in all books, not just those for kids.
Show Notes for Episode 23 with Heidi Fiedler:
- 300 Books ?!? (1:45)
- Trends in children’s books and the need for narrative (3:30)
- The visual element (4:15)
- The incredible number of books out there and how to stand out (5:00)
- Non-fiction in children’s books (5:30) Mentioned: 101 Things to do While You Poo
- The evolution of children’s books (7:45)
- The blurring of the genre lines and the end of dry writing (8:45)
- Reading to learn and the experience of reading for kids (9:30)
- Heidi on writing her own books (11:40) Mentioned: the Up Close series, No Nonsense series (coming 2017- check back for a link later)
- Brainstorming and making an idea into a book (13:30)
- Thinking about the effect a book will have on the reader (15:15)
- The tension between thinking about the reader and forgetting about them to keep writing (17:00)
- The editor/writer tension split (18:45)
- Book Mapping as a planning tool & fix for continuity and plot holes (20:00) Mentioned: Scrivener, Lindsay Smith on editing, Heidi’s book mapping course
- Lists to make while working on a project (27:15)
- Reflecting on your own work at the beginning & getting feedback (28:00)
- The importance of reading aloud (29:15)
- The collaboration between illustration and text for children’s books (30:00)
- Submitting a children’s book to a publisher (31:15) Mentioned: Miss Nelson is Missing
- Having control and giving up control as a children’s author (34:00)
- The connection of writing and Instagram (for writers who don’t get twitter) (35:30) Mentioned: Instagram for Writers course
- The visual and its impact on print books and building the writing & reading community (38:00)
- Covers and the impact on sales(41:00)
- Writer and editor costumes and modes (43:30)
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