TUESDAY WRITING TIP – REVIEWING vs EDITING SKILLS

Tuesday Writing Tips is back here today! I’m so excited because my writerly friend, Claire Saxby is visiting  RIGHT NOW to talk about her gorgeous new book baby.

Today is the day that Claire Saxby’s There Was an Old Sailor, and my Tuesday Writing Tips blog tours cross over. This is a first for me and my blog, so I hope you enjoy the journey with us.

I’m reviewing Claire Saxby’s beautiful new book, There Was an Old Sailor, and I’ll be talking about reviewing vs editing skills. Claire has a reviewing tip of her own which I’m sure you’ll find useful.

But first, she agreed to answer a few questions for us.

1.    What is your favourite sea creature in the book?

I like the way the squid swirls through the pages, but I think my favourite in the book is the ray, with his green and spots. He looks as if he’s planning to keep himself as broad as possible to try to avoid being swallowed. He doesn’t look panicked, just resolute.

2.    What is the worse thing you ever swallowed?

Ooh, you’ve brought back memories of my early childhood. I did like to chew things. I swallowed several plastic eyes from toy cats and other toys. All with no ill effects!

3.    I believe this story is a real favourite in classrooms. Can you tell us why?

I think it’s because of the absurdity of it, the idea of a sailor being able to swallow all these sea creatures. Children also enjoy the rhythm and soon join in. It also doesn’t hurt that I take in a three-dimensional sailor with a wide open mouth, and a set of the sea creatures for him to ‘swallow’.

4.    Do you have any tips for new authors interested in doing classroom visits?

Moo. Perhaps in private. I was once told to ‘moo’ before any classroom visit. It does two things. It helps to warm up your voice and the very act of mooing tends to help break through nervousness.

And this might sound obvious, but read your book to them. Even if they’ve asked you to talk about your process or story writing, they still want to hear an author read their story.

NOW FOR THE REVIEW OF THERE WAS AN OLD SAILOR

Okay, I’ll admit right from the start that Claire is a writerly friend of mine, but that has nothing to do with how much I love her new picture book, There Was an Old Sailor.

It’s based on the well-loved There Was an Old Woman who swallowed a fly, but this aquatic version puts a whole new slant on things, and has a happy ending.

The rhythm of the text moves the reader along at a cracking pace, but it’s the action and descriptions and the amazing drawings by Cassandra Allen that make this picture book such a wonderful addition to any library.

Okay, so what the sailor does is actually a bit icky (although kids love icky) but his kind eyes and jolly demeanour brought to life by Cassandra Allen make him totally endearing.

This book is full of humour, and text and illustrations that will enthral young readers. It also introduces them to the amazing creatures that inhabit the sea. The Old Sailor is a great character and the resolution is satisfying for the reader. It’s a great book for the classroom – especially for those grades studying sea creatures.

My favourite bit:

There was an old sailor who swallowed a shark.

It must have been dark when he swallowed the shark.

MY TIPS ON REVIEWING vs EDITING SKILLS

In my experience, editing skills and reviewing skills are not that different. That’s why it can be so useful for a writer to review other people’s books. It teaches you what to look for…what are the things you like/dislike in what you read?  What draws you as a reader to a story.

The similarities I see between reviewing and editing are that both require you to look at:

  • Does the opening grab the reader’s attention?
  • Does the story maintain reader attention?
  • Are the characters well drawn?
  • Is the dialogue realistic?
  • Does the story appeal overall?
  • Is the voice unique and appealing?

These are all questions worth asking yourself when you are editing your own work.

CLAIRE’S TIP ON REVIEWING

You don’t have to love a book to review it favourably. Imagine the target audience for the book. Will it satisfy them? Let that guide the review.

It has been so much fun having Claire visit us today.

You can also catch up with Claire at some other great blogs on her tour:

Monday 8 February: Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children <http://www.sallymurphy.blogspot.com/>

Tues 9 February: Dee White’s Tuesday Writing Tips <https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/>

Wed 10 February: Dale Harcombe’s Read and Write with Dale http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale/>

Thurs 11 February: Robyn Opie’s Writing Children’s books <http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com/>

Fri 12 February: Lorraine Marwood’s Words into Writing http://lorrainemarwoodwordsintowriting.blogspot.com/>

Sat 13 February: Mabel Kaplan’s Tales I Tell <http://belka37.blogspot.com/>

Sun 14 February: Sandy Fussell’s Stories are Light http://sandyfussell.blogspot.com/>

Our Tuesday Writing Tips tour continues next week at Sandy Fussell’s blog where we’ll be talking about what writers need to read. Hope you can join us then. Here’s the itinerary for the Tuesday Writing Tips tour:

DATE BLOG TOPIC
2ND February 2010 Claire Saxby’s bloghttp://letshavewords.blogspot.com Writing Picture Books – Leaving room for the illustrator.
9th February 2010 Dee White’s bloghttps://deescribewriting.wordpress.com

(That’s here:-)

Reviewing ‘There Was an Old Sailor’Reviewing vs Editing skills.
16th February 2010 Sandy Fussell’s blogwww.sandyfussell.blogspot.com Writers Need to be avid free range readers
23rd February 2010 Robyn Opie’s blogwww.robynopie.blogspot.com How to make your story longer – adding layers.
2ND March 2010 Angela Sunde’s blogwww.angelasunde.blogspot.com More about Point of View – head hopping.

Thanks for dropping in Claire. It has been great to talk with you about your beautiful new picture book,
There Was an Old Sailor.

The Tuesday Writing Tips blog tour continues next week. If you have a writing question, feel free to leave it in the comments section of this post.

Happy writing.

Dee:-)
P.S. Don’t miss tomorrow’s post at https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com It’s all about How “NOT TO” Scare Away Publishers and Agents”.

TUESDAY WRITING TIPS – CLAIRE SAXBY’S PICTURE BOOK WRITING TIP

I had such a wonderful time visiting Claire Saxby at http://letshavewords.blogspot.com today. Claire had some great advice for picture books writers.

Here’s her final tip:

Keep description to a bare, bare minimum. Include only descriptive details that absolutely have to be there. eg if the plot happens in a backyard, let the illustrator imagine it.

Next week, Claire is coming here to https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com to talk more about picture writing and her new picture book, There Was an Old Sailor, which was released by Walker Books on 1st February.

Hope you can join us then.

In the meantime, happy writing!

Dee:-)

TUESDAY WRITING TIP – PICTURE BOOKS – Leaving Room for the Illustrator

One of my writerly friends, Claire Saxby creates the most beautiful picture books. (Ebi’s Boat, A Nest for Kora, and Sheep, Goat and the Creaking Gate.)

Oh and of course there’s her wonderful new book, There Was an Old Sailor – just released yesterday!  (More on that at deescribewriting next week)

Claire manages to say so much in so few words. Today as part of the Tuesday Writing Tips blog tour, we’re off to visit her blog http://letshavewords.blogspot.com

Today Claire will talk to us about how to write picture books that leave room for the illustrator – so that pictures and words work together in perfect harmony.

So, come with me! Let’s talk picture books with Claire at http://letshavewords.blogspot.com and find out how she creates her beautiful books – and she has some great tips for picture book writers.

See you at Claire’s place.

Dee:-)

P.S. Claire is going to give us a great writing tip that will be posted here later.

CROSS BLOG TOUR FOR TUESDAY WRITING TIPS

Tuesday Writing Tips is going on a blog tour tomorrow. It’s a cross blog tour… nothing to do with anger management or people getting narky with each other. In fact, it’s a very happy occasion where two blog tours are going to interconnect.

Children’s author, Claire Saxby has a wonderful new Picture Book out today called There Was an Old Sailor. So, to celebrate its release, I’m going to visit her as part of my Tuesday Writing Tips Tour and she’s going to talk about writing picture books and Leaving Room for the Illustrator. Claire will have some great tips for Tuesday Writing Tips followers.

In the forthcoming weeks, I’ll be visiting other great blogs and collecting more writing tips along the way.

TUESDAY WRITING TIPS BLOG TOUR

This is what’s happening on the Tuesday Writing Tips Tour:

DATE BLOG TOPIC
2ND February 2010 Claire Saxby’s blog

http://letshavewords.blogspot.com

Writing Picture Books – Leaving room for the illustrator.
9th February 2010 Dee White’s blog

https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com

(That’s here!)

Reviewing ‘There Was an Old Sailor’ Reviewing vs Editing skills.
16th February 2010 Sandy Fussell’s blog

www.sandyfussell.blogspot.com

Writers Need to be avid free range readers
23rd February 2010 Robyn Opie’s blog

http://robynopie.blogspot.com

How to make your story longer – adding layers.
2ND March 2010 Angela Sunde’s blog

www.angelasunde.blogspot.com

More about Point of View – head hopping.

Hope you can join me on tour  every Tuesday for the next few weeks for some great Tuesday Writing Tips. Just visit https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com each Tuesday and follow the prompts and I’ll direct you to the next stop.

On Tuesday 9th February, Claire will visit my blog as part of her There Was an Old Sailor Tour. I’ll be reviewing her book and talking about editing vs reviewing skills. Claire will also have  a tip for us on reviewing – so this will also be a Tuesday Writing Tips Blog Tour visit.

Sound complicated? I thought so too, but really it’s quite simple. Here are some other great places you’ll be able to catch up with Claire on tour:

Monday 8 February: Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children <http://www.sallymurphy.blogspot.com/>

Tues 9 February: Dee White’s Tuesday Writing Tips <https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/>

Wed 10 February: Dale Harcombe’s Read and Write with Dale <http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale/>

Thurs 11 February: Robyn Opie’s Writing Children’s books <http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com/>

Fri 12 February: Lorraine Marwood’s Words into Writing <http://lorrainemarwoodwordsintowriting.blogspot.com/>

Sat 13 February: Mabel Kaplan’s Tales I Tell <http://belka37.blogspot.com/>

Sun 14 February: Sandy Fussell’s Stories are Light <http://sandyfussell.blogspot.com/>

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR TUESDAY WRITING TIPS FOLLOWERS?

  • Twice the tips!
  • Twice the fun!

Hope you can join Claire and I on our ‘interconnecting’ blog tours.

Happy writing.

Dee:-)