83

What is "the right way"? Why do you consider it better than some other way to write a story? What do you consider "mistakes"? You can ask your son about why he has made certain stylistic choices or plot choices, but at the end of the day, those are his choices to make. You can criticise aspects of the story that you feel are unoriginal, or have unfortunate ...


47

No one can copyright an event The events that happened to your father don't belong to anyone. They just are. Different people will have different knowledge (or beliefs) about various portions of the events, but they are just different versions of something that happened. Yes, the author who published the story can copyright the book. But she is ...


35

If anything, I'd say your book is too short for that age. 3rd grade is 8-years-olds, right? At that age, 25 minutes to read out loud is closer to one chapter of a book they'd be reading. At 8 years old, my favourite books were Sans Famille, White Fang and Narnia (all of it, except for the last book, which my parents decided was inappropriate). King Matt the ...


24

Assuming this isn't a school assignment, subject to a grade, I think your most effective approach right now is just to encourage him in his writing rather than trying to improve it. This is a good time and age to explore his creativity. When he becomes older and starts to have ambitions for his work, he will become more open to suggestions for making it ...


19

I don't think this is the right way to go about it. I have to say I'm not a fan of explanatory footnotes in fiction, it's far too much of an immersion breaker. In fact I'd go so far as to say they are flat-out awful and should be avoided wherever possible. It's a mental load having to go down to the foot of the page, read something that necessarily breaks ...


17

"Can someone take a story that happened to you, without your knowledge, and publish it?" Of course. Newspapers does this all the time. No one asks the president's permission before writing a news story about the latest bill he presented to Congress. Or on a more personal level, if Joe Blow is arrested, the newspapers don't ask his permission before writing a ...


16

The audiobook for Winnie the Pooh is 2 hrs and 46 minutes (although admittedly it is episodic in nature rather than a single story.) I was first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone around the same age, and it's over 8 hrs. I think you're fine.


14

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. You do have (limited) legal rights to your own name and story. In this case, if the author used your father's actual full legal name, and other identifiable details, and if your father is NOT a public figure, you might be able to make a case against her. With that said, it may be in no way worth it, unless ...


13

Short answer: definitely, absolutely, wholeheartedly 3. Long answer: Sir Terry Pratchett wrote somewhere that since he was reading a lot as a child, when he was little there were many words he knew only in writing, but had never heard spoken. For example, it was years before he learnt that "ogres" were not pronounced "ogreees". Having a large vocabulary ...


11

It's been decades since I was a kid watching cartoons on TV, and I can still sing some of the Schoolhouse Rock songs. Schoolhouse Rock, for those unfamiliar with it, was a series of short (2-3 minute) bits of educational programming interspersed among Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Bullwinkle, et al. Each episode taught one concept -- math, grammar, US history, ...


11

You don’t say what age of children you want to address and I’m not sure whether your use of the young-adult tag indicates older children or if that is intended to cover your ’adult’ audience. If you are talking about children who have a minimum 4-5 years of schooling, I’d suggest considering a glossary as a section either at the front of the back of the ...


10

If this happened in European Union using his name and other specifics without his permission may violate General Data Protection Regulation. Note, if your father died more than 10 years ago, it no longer applies. Consult a lawyer if your father is alive or died less than 10 years ago. As eggyal says: Whereas newspapers and/or authors of academic ...


9

You need to consult with a lawyer. This question overlaps with contract law and copyright law and seeing as you don't have any of the original contracts it will be difficult to establish what happened. Presumably, however, the author of the book has also lost whatever agreements were in place, or they could provide copies for you? I'm going to assume you're ...


9

I am a children's book illustrator. Thom is right 50:50 or for heavily illustrated picture books 60:40. When it comes to the advance, the illustrator usually gets more because it will take them 3 to 8 months to finish illustrations for the book. They need something to live on while they are working.


9

I gave your question some thought, and I figure the best source of inspiration for you would be an encyclopaedia. Let me explain: your regular characters can travel to distant lands where they'd encounter new views, customs, wildlife etc. They can travel back in time to various interesting historical periods. They can pop into famous fairy tales (like ...


9

Try giving him some books to read about the subject he wrote about. You will soon find out if he is really interested in the stories or if it was just something he used to try and get your attention. Reading about how other authors handle these stories might give him some learning experience. And maybe when he tries to write again he will keep this other ...


8

There are no clear-cut distinctions. Children are different. One child might be reading at 6 what another wouldn't touch until 12. For example, King Matt the First is explicitly written for children (under 8). It deals with themes like death, war, responsibility, and it doesn't have a happy ending. I grabbed it off the top shelf in my room when I was 6, and ...


8

Most publishers are fine with simultaneous submissions and understand that it could otherwise take years for a manuscript to be accepted. What's important is to read the publisher's guidelines before submitting (they should say if they require exclusive submissions) and to be up front about it. Because every genre has a different publishing culture, I ...


7

Assuming you are in the US... Copyright will likely protect this author's expression of the facts. This means that you cannot copy phrases from the book (for example), but you can write a different book about the same event. (This is true no matter whose father the book is about, actually.) Copyright.gov says: Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, ...


6

Contractions are fine in narration. As with other aspects of the narrator's diction and voice, the use or avoidance of contractions helps characterize the narrator, and indicates something about the formality/informality of the story.


6

I'm also going to agree with the third suggestion. The idea of a pronunciation guide is a good one, and you could do as others have done and make it part of the dialogue (for example "My name's Shawn, but it's spelled s-e-a-n"). Susan Cooper did something similar with Welsh names in "The Grey King". I know that this example might be aimed at the upper end ...


6

Though he looks forward to my praise, which I surely do, he gets bored every time I try to outline his flaws in the story. That's pretty standard 11-year-old-boy behavior. I peeked at their handbook recently and there's a whole section on how to keep your parents from bugging you about stuff you don't want to do. I bet you'd get the same bored look if you ...


6

This is a norm that has changed. Not long ago, simultaneous submissions were frowned upon. Now they are largely expected. However, publishing tends to be an old-fashioned industry. There are still hold-outs that have different expectations, so make sure you check the submission guidelines for each publisher. I would recommend, however, that you query ...


5

From a story standpoint, you have, more or less, two choices: Recount what's come before the current book, or embed critical information in the narrative itself. The more realistic it is for characters to talk about past events, the less need there'll be for a summary of events at the beginning of the book. But if you want the book to seem like a grand ...


5

If they want the information in the synopsis, then put it there. I also see no problem mentioning it in the cover letter additionally, but you don't need it there when it is in the synopsis. If you do not have a writing career (yet), then your age (or date of birth) and current profession should be sufficient. Tell them, why you are in expert for children's ...


5

In my opinion, the word count of a chapter just doesn't matter. Instead, the word count of your chapters should depend entirely on the goals for the chapter, and how long it needs to be to tell the story. Many authors have incredibly varied lengths of chapters, however, I can provide some advice concerning writing for your target audience. If you are ...


5

According to copyright laws, the artist has the right to sell reprints of the art. It is important to know that copyright nearly always rests with the artist, regardless of who owns the artwork. There are exceptions to this rule, such as work that has been specifically commissioned or completed during employment, in which case copyright stays with ...


5

Children's Writer's Word Book The Children's Writer's Word Book is a very good resource for what you are looking for. It is quite readable (will hold your interest) and has enough material to help you generate unlimited plots and story elements all the while providing ideas that will be age appropriate and yet not simple and boring. It also lists numerous ...


5

I grew up in the 70's in Britain reading C.S. Lewis, Ray Bradbury, Susan Cooper, Alan Garner, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Christopher, along with Enid Blyton, Elizabeth Beresford, Joan Akien, Arthur Conan Doyle, Road Dahl, Rudyard Kipling, James Herriot, Mary Norton and so on. I started reading quite late, but caught up very quickly, and as a voracious reader who ...


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