Hot of the press from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference (well worth joining, an excellent worldwide network), here are the most common mistakes made by writers for Middle Grade (8-12year-olds).
Alison Weiss is an editor at Sky Pony Press. She was previously at Egmont for 6 and half years.
Missing the Middle Grade Mark: Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Your character is too young or to too old.
- Your voice isn’t authentic.
- Your dialogue doesn’t sound natural – or natural to your characters.
- Your vocabulary is too sophisticated.
- You’re putting characters in situations that don’t make sense.
- You’re writing what you think is a middle grade experience, not what’s actually a middle grade experience.
- Your book lacks conflict.
- You’re making choices that will date your book.
- Your book is too long.
- You don’t know the market.
- Sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
- You aren’t asking your questions when you have the chance.
Bit of a checklist then. Good luck with sorting your manuscripts out – it might take me a while…