I hope you’re as excited as I am to join the challenge to write a chapter book in just 1 month!
This month I’m joining CHABOOCHA and am planning on writing a chapter book from beginning to end. And after I’m done, I’m planning on submitting it to Kaeden Books, who says in their submissions guidelines that they are particularly interested in receiving beginning chapter books!
So I’m going to be totally honest here.
I’m at square one just like you are.
I am starting this challenge today, just like you are.
I don’t have my characters picked out.
I haven’t the slightest idea what my plot will be.
I don’t even know my setting.
But the one thing I DO have is my mentor text. It’s The Red Flyer Roller Coaster which is published by Kaeden Books.
So this month here on my blog, I’ll be sharing step-by-step what I’m actually doing to write this chapter book from beginning to end.
If you want to write one using the same mentor text so you can follow along more closely with me, then go ahead and order it in. If you have your own mentor text or if you want to write a middle grade novel instead of a early chapter book, you might benefit more from following along with my Middle Grade Novel teleclass workshop.
And if you sorta kinda wanna try writing this challenge but you’re just nor sure how practical it is to write a whole book in one month, I’ll let you in on a couple of insider information on the real world of a children’s writer.
This last week I heard out of the blue from an editor who offered me a contract for a 6-week project to write a 8000-9000-word manuscript for teens. (That’s 3 times as many words as THE RED FLYER ROLLER COASTER and what I’ll be writing this month for my chapter book.)
And I also had a phone call from another editor last week who said that IF they decide to move forward on a chapter book for which they MIGHT offer a contract to me, it might need to be a really fast turnaround. Like maybe three weeks for 10,000 words.
So it’s challenges like the one we’re doing here on my blog this month that help me strengthen my writing muscles and keep in shape to feel capable to sign these contracts and then write and deliver those manuscripts. (And then get the nice paychecks in the mail!)
I hope you decide to join in the adventure!
As I explained, I’ll basically be sharing here on my blog the actual steps I’m taking to write my own chapter book this month.
And the first thing I did was make a calendar to follow. I don’t know about you, but calendars help me pace myself and get a project done on time. I don’t always stick with a calendar, but I make adjustments if I need to as I move along.
As you can see if you look at today’s assignment on the calendar, today’s a good day to read your mentor text and brainstorm ideas for your main character. Kaeden Books says in their submission guidelines that they are particularly looking for “manuscripts with strong characters with potential to become a series.” Plus they expand that to say they’re looking for “interesting characters that will appeal to children in pre-kindergarten through second grade.”
Let me know if you need help on how to brainstorm characters that fit this description.
Also, you can print out the calendar that I’m going to follow. But if your writing schedule is different or you’d like to use a blank calendar, I also included a blank calendar with the monkey in the middle OR a totally blank calendar with no graphics at all for you to use. You can download and print them out here: