Wednesday, September 23, 2020

You Can Write for Children: A #KidLit Guide #99c Sale #Writing #amwriting

You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers is on sale for 99 cents today through Tuesday, September 29.

Get it from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Remember the magic of bedtime stories? When you write for children, you have the most appreciative audience in the world. But to reach that audience, you need to write fresh, dynamic stories, whether you’re writing rhymed picture books, middle grade mysteries, edgy teen novels, nonfiction, or something else. This book will show you how.

In this book, you will learn:

  • How to explore the wide variety of age ranges, genres, and styles in writing stories, articles and books for young people.
  • How to find ideas.
  • How to develop an idea into a story, article, or book.
  • The basics of character development, plot, setting, and theme – and some advanced elements.
  • How to use point of view, dialogue, and thoughts.
  • How to edit your work and get critiques.
  • Where to learn more on various subjects.

Whether you’re just starting out or have some experience, this book will make you a better writer – and encourage you to have fun!

Grab the book on sale now!

Amazon US.

Amazon UK.

You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers is also available in paperback, or in Large Print paperback.

Chris Eboch is the author of over 60 books for children, including nonfiction and fiction, early reader through teen. Her novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery in ancient Egypt; The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure; The Genie’s Gift, a middle eastern fantasy; and the Haunted series, about kids who travel with a ghost hunter TV show, which starts with The Ghost on the Stairs. Her writing craft books also include Advanced Plotting.

Learn more at https://chriseboch.com/ or her Amazon page

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Balancing Art and Commerce in #Writing - tips for the #Writerslife #AmWriting



I've been talking about goals. It’s worth spending some time figuring out the balance between doing what you want to do and doing what you need to do to make money. 

Art versus Commerce in Writing Goals 


Molly also writes as Cece Barlow
Molly Blaisdell started by writing novels, but she needed to make an income and wanted to do it from writing. To turn writing into a career, she advises, “Take any gig you can get. If the checks don’t bounce, it’s a good gig.”

This attitude has given her dozens of books in print, most of them work for hire beginning readers or picture books. It also led to her first trade picture book, Rembrandt and the Boy Who Drew Dogs. “Work for hire made me bold and helped me put together a professional front,” Blaisdell says.

Not everyone puts income first. For Louise Spiegler, another job pays the bills. With writing, the main goal is always “to write compelling, passionate, funny, tragic, thought-provoking books that really speak to my readers. This means I need to keep pushing myself to work on my craft, to think hard and work hard.”

But Spiegler recognizes that being a successful writer doesn’t stop with craft. “Professionally, I also wanted to make sure that I get more people reading my second book, The Jewel and the Key than read my first. I get emails from people who have read The Amethyst Road and felt very moved by it. This is the most rewarding thing for me. I just want to make sure every book finds its readers.”

Janet S. Fox, author of picture books and novels such as The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, says, “I want my books to be exquisite. To be loved. To be read forever. To sell, yes—to be commercial—but to be beautiful, and beautifully crafted. I’m constantly questioning my work from two angles: will readers read it? And, will it be eternally beautiful? Commerce and craft—my overwhelming goal is to keep these two warring factions in balance.”

Keeping Your Writing Goals Flexible


Goals can change over time, as we learn more about ourselves and our field. Author Esther Hershenhorn discovered joy in helping other writers tell their stories well. “I began coaching writers in person, via the mail, on the phone, from near and far,” she said.

“Like my character Pippin Biddle in my picture book Fancy That, whose hidden talents save the day as well as his three orphaned sisters, I returned home from my journey with a prize far better than what I’d first sought. I spend my days doing what I love and loving what I do: writing, teaching and coaching other writers.”

Hershenhorn adds, “I remind my students to be open to unimagined possibilities and opportunities. I’ve watched writers assess their interests, talents, and experiences to find related children’s book niches—reviewing children’s books for a journal or website, writing curriculum materials, working with book fairs, selling at bookstores, writing PR plans for fellow writers, returning to library school.”

Chris Eboch’s book Advanced Plotting helps writers fine-tune their plots, while You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers offers great insight to beginning and intermediate writers. Her novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery that brings ancient Egypt to life; and The Well of Sacrifice, an action-packed drama set in ninth-century Mayan Guatemala. Learn more at https://chriseboch.com/ or her Amazon page.
Chris also writes for adults under the name Kris Bock. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Get a free 10,000-word story set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter.

Kris Bock also writes romantic suspense novels. Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Nora Roberts will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog

Learn more at www.krisbock.com or visit Kris Bock’s Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. (For other countries click here.) Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter  for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Goal Setting: Tips and Resources #Writing tips for the #Writerslife #AmWriting

Last week I talked about the importance of setting goals and occasionally reviewing them. Here are some resources to help you identify the specific steps you need to take to reach your overall goals.

Susan Uhlig, author of dozens of magazine stories and articles and a writing teacher, reviewed her annual goals on her website and explored what worked or didn't, and why, with advice for other goal setters. Here's an excerpt:

Some writers have word or page count goals per day. Others have a goal of finishing a chapter in a certain amount of time. Illustrators might have a number of paintings or sketches to accomplish in a certain time. What matters is to have what in the business world of project management is called a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. A goal such as "get an agent" isn't really under your control. A goal of "submit so many queries to agents by this date" is under your control and measurable.

Read her entire post on her website.


Amy Houts shared tips on goals lists. Here’s one tip I really like: Be specific—don’t just write, for example, “Complete assignment.” Break the assignment down into specific steps. For any of the writing courses, these steps would include: reading the course manual, working through the exercises, scanning the related reading, and studying your textbooks. Once that’s completed, you can begin writing the first draft, editing, revising, and proofreading. 

I like this because it helps you stay realistic. If your goal is “I’m going to write that sci-fi story this weekend!”, you may be disappointed and frustrated when you work really hard at it but still fail. But if you break it down into steps, you may realize that by the time you research, brainstorm, and outline, you’ll have filled up your available free time. Then you can set a more realistic goal for this weekend and the next one.


EXERCISE: Goal Setting 


•    What is my primary writing goal?
•    What are my secondary writing goals?
•    How can these goals work together? Do they contradict each other at all? Do they interfere with other career, family or personal goals?
•    What steps do I need to take? Do I need to work on specific craft techniques, time management, market research, or submissions?

•    Which steps come first? How can I schedule the steps to reach my goals?

Click on the “goal setting” link in the right-hand column for more on this topic.

Have certain goals setting exercises work for you? Do you have any advice to share?


Kris writes for children under the name Chris Eboch. Her novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery that brings ancient Egypt to life; and The Well of Sacrifice, an action-packed drama set in ninth-century Mayan Guatemala. Her book Advanced Plotting helps writers fine-tune their plots, while You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers offers great insight to beginning and intermediate writers. Learn more at https://chriseboch.com/ or her Amazon page.

Chris also writes for adults under the name Kris Bock. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Get a free 10,000-word story set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter.

Kris Bock also writes romantic suspense novels. Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Nora Roberts will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog

Learn more at www.krisbock.com or visit Kris Bock’s Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. (For other countries click here.) Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter  for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Set Your Goals, Step By Step: #Writing tips for the #Writerslife #AmWriting

I’ve been talking about career goals. Now it’s your turn.

Exercise: Goal Setting


What is my primary writing goal?

What are my secondary writing goals?

How can these goals work together? Do they contradict each other at all? Do they interfere with other career, family or personal goals?

What steps do I need to take? Do I need to work on specific craft techniques, time management, market research, or submissions?

Which steps come first? How can I schedule the steps to reach my goals?

A regular review of your personal goals can keep you on track, or help you recognize when it’s time to change. Once you identify your priorities, you can take steps to get there. If money is the priority, you might focus on work for hire and market research. If your ideal is winning major literary awards, maybe you need to take more classes to work on your craft. The journey may still be a long one, but you take the first step by identifying where you want to go.

Successful Goal Setting for Writers


Janet S. Fox said, “When I started writing for children I had one goal: to get published!” She found a critique group to help her on that path. “My critique partners and I shared the goal of publishing—but we also shared the goals of improving our craft, of learning about the nuances of the publishing industry, of understanding structure, character, and voice. We pushed each other, and attended conferences together.” They are all now published.


Large-scale, general goals need to be broken into specific small steps. Sydney Salter, author of My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters and the award-winning Swoon at Your Own Risk said, “When I decided that I really wanted to make writing a professional career, not just a hobby, I bought an engagement calendar to use just for my writing. Each day I recorded what I had done to work on my writing career, whether it was revising a magazine article, researching a novel, writing 1,500 words, or reading a Newbery winning novel over the weekend. 

“I also recorded goals at the beginning of each month to keep myself on track—things like write 12,000 words, submit teen story to Children’s Writer contest, read three MT Anderson books. This technique kept me focused on my goals and allowed me to have some small successes, such as published magazine stories and contest wins, while I worked toward book publication.”

Improve your plots
Writers may benefit from reviewing their goals yearly, or even more often. You may also want to review goals whenever you feel bored or frustrated, as instinct may be telling you that you’re on the wrong path.

It’s good to have big goals, even fantasies, but break them down into shorter-term goals, and lists the steps you need to take to get there. To be a rich and famous writer would be nice. But you may need to start by taking writing classes to build your storytelling skills. Then there’s the discipline of writing on a regular schedule, finding helpful critiques, editing, market research, networking... all the steps along the way. You can’t jump ahead to the end, but you can keep moving along the path.

Make your goals as specific as possible. (See my last post.)

You may also need to break down goals into short-term and long-term. Making enough money to quit your day job may be a five-year or 10-year goal. You can then set short-term goals to help you get there.

Goal setting should involve the entire career, from time management to craft to market research and submissions to publicity for published works.

You may not achieve every goal you set, but at least you’ll be heading in the right direction. Then you just have to remember to enjoy the journey.

Tip: If your goals include polishing a manuscript and becoming a better writer, consider getting professional feedback! See my critique rates and recommendations on my website.

Kris writes for children under the name Chris Eboch. Her novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery that brings ancient Egypt to life; and The Well of Sacrifice, an action-packed drama set in ninth-century Mayan Guatemala. Her book Advanced Plotting helps writers fine-tune their plots, while You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers offers great insight to beginning and intermediate writers. Learn more at https://chriseboch.com/ or her Amazon page.

Chris also writes for adults under the name Kris Bock. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Get a free 10,000-word story set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter.

Kris Bock also writes romantic suspense novels. Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Nora Roberts will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog


Learn more at www.krisbock.com or visit Kris Bock’s Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. (For other countries click here.) Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter  for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Yes You Can: Making and Achieving Your #Writing Goals #amwriting #writerslife

The quarantimes are befuddling. Depending on your job and family situation, you may suddenly have more free time – or less, with kids home demanding attention. Add in summer, when bright early mornings and long, late evenings may inspire you to work – or distract you with outdoor activities or lazy drinks on the patio. Either way, if you expect changes in your schedule or mood, it’s worth setting some goals now. This month's posts will focus on ... 

Goal setting for your writing life


Where would you (realistically) like to be at the end of this year?

Learn all about writing for children
To start, consider where you want to go in your writing life. Do you want to make a steady income? Or is it more important to write what you love, regardless of the market? Do you care more about winning awards or getting laughs? Goal setting should involve the entire career, from time management to craft to market research and submissions to publicity for published works.

Make your goals as specific as possible. For example, “Make money from writing” is a vague goal. Will you be happy with $10 from an online poem just so you can say you’ve been paid? Do you want to make an annual profit so you can claim writing as a business on your tax forms? Contribute a certain amount to the family income? Quit your day job?
You may also need to break down goals into short-term and long-term. Making enough money to quit your day job may be a 10-year goal. You can then set short-term goals to help you get there. You can’t jump ahead to the end, but you can keep moving along the path.

Goals can change over time, as we learn more about ourselves and our field. Author and writing coach Esther Hershenhorn said, “I’ve watched writers assess their interests, talents and experiences to find related niches—reviewing books for a journal or website, writing curriculum materials, working with book fairs, selling at bookstores, writing PR plans for fellow writers, returning to library school.”

It’s important to realize when you are consciously changing goals, and when you’re being led astray. Suzanne Morgan Williams found a tempting side path early on, when a fiction submission led to an offer of a nonfiction book project and eventually ten books. Williams could have stayed on that easy path, but she remembered her original goal: to write fiction. Eventually, she said, “I made the conscious decision not to pursue more nonfiction contracts until I’d spent some real time working on my fiction skills.” With that new focus, Williams wrote and sold her first novel, Bull Rider.

Author Sydney Salter said, “When I decided that I really wanted to make writing a professional career, not just a hobby, I bought an engagement calendar to use just for my writing. Each day I recorded what I had done to work on my writing career, whether it was revising a magazine article, researching a novel, writing 1,500 words, or reading a Newbery-winning novel over the weekend. I also recorded goals at the beginning of each month to keep myself on track—things like write 12,000 words, submit teen story to Children’s Writer contest, read three MT Anderson books. This technique kept me focused on my goals and allowed me to have some small successes, such as published magazine stories and contest wins, while I worked toward book publication.”

Each step on the path not only brings you closer to your destination, it also builds valuable skills for when you arrive. Salter says, “When I found an interested agent, I was grateful for the discipline that I’d learned through years of treating my writing seriously. My editor also appreciates my work ethic.” Sydney's published books include the middle grade novel Jungle Crossing and the young adult comedies My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters and Swoon At Your Own Risk. 

Improve your plotting
You may not achieve every goal you set. You can’t win an award just because you want to, or even because you work really hard. But you can focus on improving your craft so you can write books of the style and quality that win awards. That puts you on the right path. Perhaps that path will lead to the realization of your dream. At least you’ll be heading in the right direction, and can enjoy the journey.

Start thinking about your overall goals now. Next week, I’ll offer specific tips and resources for identifying the steps you need to take to get to your writing goals.

Chris Eboch's book Advanced Plotting helps writers fine-tune their plots, while You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers offers great insight to beginning and intermediate writers. Her novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery that brings ancient Egypt to life; and The Well of Sacrifice, an action-packed drama set in ninth-century Mayan Guatemala. Learn more at https://chriseboch.com/ or her Amazon page.

Chris also writes for adults under the name Kris Bock. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Get a free 10,000-word story set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter.

Kris Bock also writes romantic suspense novels. Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Nora Roberts will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog


Learn more at www.krisbock.com or visit Kris Bock’s Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. (For other countries click here.) Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter  for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Monday, June 29, 2020

How To Find Story Ideas And Get Started Writing – Quick #Writing tips for the #Writerslife

Jumpstart your writing! Use these quick writing tips inspire you to move your story forward.


Brainstorm Writing Ideas

  • Brainstorm 5 to 10 ideas for stories, articles, or novels. Then consider each idea in turn: 
1. Focus your idea – be specific and narrow, especially with short stories or articles. For fiction, focus on an individual person and situation, not a universal ideal. For nonfiction, go deep on one aspect of the topic instead of trying to cover a broad, general idea.

2. Ask yourself: What am I trying to accomplish?
Who am I trying to reach?
Why am I writing this?

3. Know your audience – study the genre and age range. If you’re writing for publication, study publisher guidelines. 

4. What do you need? Will you have to do research or conduct interviews?

5. What would make the best place to start? For more help, check out my other blogs on finding ideas.)

With these notes, review your list of ideas and choose your top three.

Who Will Read Your Writing?

If you’re writing for publication, identify three possible markets for each. If you can’t find three possible markets, maybe it’s not worth putting time into that idea. However, if you are writing purely for your own pleasure, for your family, or to develop your skills without thought of publication, skip this step – you can write whatever you want!

Get More Writing Advice

You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers is available for the Kindle, in paperback, or in Large Print paperback.

Chris Eboch is the author of over 60 books for children, including nonfiction and fiction, early reader through teen. Her novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery in ancient Egypt; The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure; The Genie’s Gift, a middle eastern fantasy; and the Haunted series, about kids who travel with a ghost hunter TV show, which starts with The Ghost on the Stairs. Her writing craft books include You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers, and Advanced Plotting.

Learn more or read excerpts at www.chriseboch.com or visit her page on Amazon or Amazon UK. (For other countries click here.)



Monday, June 22, 2020

How To Find Story Ideas – Quick #Writing tips for the #Writerslife

Do you need a bit of inspiration to jumpstart your writing? Sometimes it's overwhelming to read and process a long blog post or article. I hope this series of quick writing tips inspires you to move your story forward!

Maybe you want to write, but you’re not sure what you want to write. Or perhaps you have so many ideas you don’t know where to start. Here are some options for brainstorming ideas. (This is excerpt from You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers, so it addresses writing stories for children. If you want to write for adults, simply do the exercises with people of a suitable age.)

Find story and article ideas based on the experiences of your children, grandchildren, students, or other young people you know:

·   What interests them?

·   What frightens them?

·   What do they enjoy?

·   What challenges do they face?

·   What do their lives involve – school, sports, family, religion, clubs?

Take lots of notes, even if you’re not sure yet whether you want to pursue an idea. You can put each idea on a separate index card, or fill a notebook, or start a file folder with scraps of paper. Do whatever works for you.

Chris Eboch is the author of over 60 books for children, including nonfiction and fiction, early reader through teen. Her novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery in ancient Egypt; The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure; The Genie’s Gift, a middle eastern fantasy; and the Haunted series, about kids who travel with a ghost hunter TV show, which starts with The Ghost on the Stairs. Her writing craft books include You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers, and Advanced Plotting.

Learn more or read excerpts at www.chriseboch.com or visit her page on Amazon or Amazon UK. (For other countries click here.)