Over the past couple of days I've spent a lot of time hunched over a 3 meter roll of newsprint trying to perfect the placement of my plot and subplot elements. As you've probably gathered by now I'm a 'planner' so a clear road map is very important to me...although I am happy to take detours if I spot that there's a more efficient means of reaching my destination.
Inevitably there were times when my back could stand it no more. I was forced to abandon my 'mad scientist' pose and take a little time out with a toasty hot water bottle and a few short podcasts.
As I was listening to Laura Backes and Jon Bard's podcast on publishing trends and the tween market, I had another one of those 'Ah-ha' moments (No, I didn't suddenly have the urge the need to listen to '80's pop!). I'd stumbled across an answer to my nagging questions...
What level to pitch the intensity of the danger at in a middle grade novel?
What sort of dangerous situations are appropriate for 8-12 year olds before they cross over into the YA sphere?
But, I'd also discovered the value of meandering aimlessly through the mounds of information on children's writing that exist.
There is time and place for everything. Sometimes a clear and focused plan is necessary to keep you on track, but other times the lack of a plan can lead you to undiscovered gems that - had you been following a plan - you might otherwise have missed..
The link to the podcast for any interested Fightin' Bookworm members out there