Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Trying to stay positive...

Hi everyone

I'm not happy about having to wait 5 months for responses, that's for sure...but that's not what's getting me down. From what I've read recently, rhyming children's books are taboo. Most editors (allegedly) don't like them, but yet almost every single one of my 3 (almost 4) year old's picture books rhyme. Go figure. The thing is...I love to rhyme. I'm good at it. And I have been writing a new children's book and honestly, I'm trying to not rhyme it but everything within me WANTS to make it rhyme. It's honestly hard for me to not rhyme. I enjoy writing rhyme but it's like the whole writing world doesn't have a place for it- not even greeting card companies, apparently. I feel like rhyme is one of the things that makes my children's books fun and unique. But yet everyone says not to do it. What's a girl to do?
Anyways, that's what's been going on here. I've got a new picture book in the works and I'm trying my hardest to follow the 'rules.' Who knew there were rules to being creative? I'm starting to have a revelation now, and it's somewhat of an unhappy one. Creative writing, when done as a profession, does seem to have a FORMAT. It's like I'm in journalism school all over again (if you don't know what I'm talking about, go back and read my second post and I explain my hatred of formats)...
Will formats EVER GO AWAY?!?!?! Surely it just stifles creativity...but then I remember that the world of publishers/editors is a big-ass (excuse my language) business. It's not just for fun. And now I'm wondering if it's just not for me.


Tammy said...

Hey Dena,

I was just reading an article(http://www.cherylklein.com/cookie.html) by Cheryl Klein,senior editor with Arthur A. Levinehttp://www.arthuralevinebooks.com/faq.asp#staff

"# You will hear people say “Editors hate rhyme.”
# This is not true. A more accurate description would be, we are extremely suspicious of rhyme.
# This suspicion grew out of the fact that so many people (and baby boomers especially) grew up on Dr. Seuss, that their definition of “picture book text” equals “written in rhyme.” And this means many first-time writers think, if they just write in rhyme, their book is a picture book.
# The suspicion also comes from the fact that most rhyme is not very good. In fact, it is awful.

* Out of meter, forced, awkward
* It muddies up the action through the writer’s having to rhyme one line with the next
* It imposes a tone inappropriate to the events it describes
o So then, you see, my dear old Pops,
o He closed his eyes and died.
o I felt his crumpled hand grow cold
o And I cried and cried and cried.
* And altogether ends up detracting from the story rather than enhancing it.
Of course there are other agents who don't want to go anywhere near rhyme, http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/Agent+Advice+Jennifer+Weltz+Of+Jean+V+Naggar+Literary+Agency.aspx

All that means though, those aren't the agents/editors for you.

Be true to yourself.


S.I.F. said...

I have to agree! You need to write what you are being driven to write; if you change your style that's when it will start to feel awkward! Stick to your own style, and you will find a publisher who appreciates that!

DenaDaw said...

Thanks for the support guys- and Thanks for that article, Tammy. It does make me feel better. There are just SO many things to consider when writing for children (and even more when it's rhyme). It's just a long, frustrating process- which will hopefully be worth it!

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