Sep. 25th, 2014

rockinlibrarian: (roar)
Okay, Kim Aippersbach, I've met your challenge! I have two short drafts-in-progress that I've been trying to work on this month. Not as much as I COULD'VE gotten done, but more than I would have if I'd allowed myself not to aim for anything.

Both the pieces are complete but for a hole where I'm NOT SURE WHAT HAPPENS. But it's possible I'm wrong about my Early Chapter Book, and only am thinking I have a hole because I arbitrarily got it into my head that the story should be split into five chapters. So it seems like that would be something another reader could objectively look at and decide whether the arc DOES need something more or not, or whether the last two chapters should just be smoothed over into one.

This is something I started writing earlier this year when my son was reading a lot of Henry and Mudge books for school. So that's the basic structure I had in mind if you're not sure what I meant by "early-reader chapter book," although I'm NOT SURE-- either my story is a slightly higher reading level than Henry and Mudge, or I somehow need to simplify the language more.* I DON'T KNOW. I guess different publishers have different guidelines for beginning-reader books anyway, some with stricter vocabularies and/or structures than others. So if any of you out there actually KNOW something about writing for this age group, your advice would be gratefully appreciated!

So if you'd like to be a critique partner for me (for this piece at least), apply now!

*I just ran it through this readability calculator. It gives it a Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score of 93 / grade level of 1.9, which would be about comparable to Henry and Mudge I suppose, but the Coleman-Liau Index gives it a grade level of 8.1 because it apparently doesn't like me.** All the different readability levels average out to 3.7--that's including the bizarre 8.1 in the calculations-- so if you DISCOUNT that it's probably about a second-or-early-third-grade level which is what I had in mind. But honestly, reading about the differences between these readability formulas just further reinforces how stupid strict adherence to reading level is. No WONDER the dinosaur books always score too advanced!

**Actually because one of the main characters is a game show announcer who I can't NOT have use words like "gentlemen" even though they're nine letters long.

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