Welcome to the Bookshelf Detective, a site packed with tricks and tips for readers and writers of children's literature. Thank you for visiting!
Kim Tomsic

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Creating a Critique Group: Part Three Clarifying Questions and the Reader's Gaze

Asking Your Critique Parnter Clarifying Questions:

When you work with your critique partners, you can mark simple errors in their manuscripts with easy notes, e.g., in paragraph one they were eating breakfast, but here you're calling it dinner - there's no need to tiptoe around those notes. 

However, when you wonder if an author made a stylistic choice (but you're unsure) it's important to ask. Maybe you suspect the writer's goal is to enhance poetic delivery, or nod at a secret, or reveal character in a clever way, or something else. Regardless the reason, the author needs to know you've paused reading. The choice unintentionally interrupted your reading process (your suspension of disbelief). This feels like a great spot for a clarifying question.

When you are early in the critique process, you are discovering the nuances of the story, so you might mark with a comment bubble (stylistic choice?). If it is, the author will move on, or the author will think - yes, stylistic, but did I go too far, or how can I finesse? When you ask clarifying questions, you provide the author with valuable information about the reader's gaze and where you were potentially pulled out of the story.  

Friday, April 14, 2023

Wordless Picture Books

 Whenever anyone talks about wordless picture books, Linda Ashman comes to my mind. She used to have a "how to" link on writing wordless pbs, so I wrote to her to ask for that link. Instead, she sent back a great example of her book Rain! Illustrated by Christian Robinson. These links are rich with material! 

Here's the link to Linda Ashman's page: LINDA ASHMAN
Here is what she submitted: Submission  
Here is her storyboard:  Storyboard  

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