Children's Writer's Guild Forum » Highlights Critique Group #1

Group 1 Who's up next?

(15 posts)

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  1. Sheila
    Member

    Who wants to be next, guys?

    Sheila

    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. Fernando
    Member

    If we are following an order, it looks like Bruno or Carol is up next. Can't wait to see their work.

    nando

    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. I'll second Fernando's "motion."

    Marvin

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. Sheila
    Member

    O.K. I'll ask Carol or Bruno. I'll give them a heads-up via e-mail. Thanks, guys!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. Lois
    Member

    Well, I had a short poem that could be critiqued -- unless someone has something with more substance :)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. Sheila
    Member

    Sounds good to me, Lois! Please feel to go ahead and send it out.

    Sheila

    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. edkowalski
    Member

    Great, Lois! I think you can use velcro like it's public domain, like jello. If you're going to work on the poem again you could use strap instead of fastener in the shoe simile, maybe sticky strips for fastening strips at the end. People, especially kids, would know what sticky strips means. Velcro is sticky! It's a sweet poem with a great real life idea kids can use.

    Ed

    Posted 4 years ago #
  8. Fernando
    Member

    Lois,

    Thanks for sharing a great poem. First, I must say that I have a tin finger when it comes to writing poems. When I see one, though, I can’t stop reading it. It turns out to be a song in my head. That being the case I sometimes stumble if the meter changes or the lines per stanza aren’t equal. This is in my head, and has nothing to do with any given poem.

    I find the story in your poem genuinely spot on. Here is a child whose family is close. The significant people in her/his life stick with her/him. (“Being politically correct is inconvenient sometimes,” he/she/it said.) The child wants to show the same love to his family. The method chosen is simple, meaningful, and other children can easily duplicate it. Great story!

    I question whether or not the sixth stanza – “Daddy said, there must … - is necessary. The child had an epiphany. The daddy already knows all the particulars of sticking. Since the child saw the solution, why would daddy have to prompt the cognitive juices of the child?

    Overall, great job.

    Fernando

    Posted 4 years ago #
  9. Carol
    Member

    Hi Lois,
    This is a great story about a child's ingenuity and resourcefulness. I could feel the close family bond that the bracelets were meant to symbolize.

    Great job!

    Carol

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. Hello, Lois.

    I read your piece as soon as it was posted, but deliberately waited to remark about it as I wanted to see how others viewed it. I concur with everyone's comments. It is a heart-warming story and one children should love to have read to them over and over. My only concern was that, like Fernando, I tripped over some of the meter. If you intend to send it to a publisher, you might want to read it out loud to gauge for yourself the metric flow. Too bad the whole world can't take a lesson from the little girl in your story and find creative ways to share their love with others.

    Marvin

    Posted 4 years ago #
  11. Sheila
    Member

    Hi, Lois and all!

    I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments, and Lois, I would like to suggest something for your consideration: as much as I love poetry, I think that this poem might actually work better as a story. It is a very sweet idea, but I would like to see it fleshed out more. Prose is going to give you more freedom to do this, and much of the poem already reads like prose.

    Children love gadgets and creating from scratch, so I think that you could really have some fun with this idea.

    Also, while you want to be true to the idea of "sticking" together, you might want to delineate more clearly what this really means. On the one hand, you want to emphasize closeness, but on the other hand, you don't want the characters to come across as emotionally too needy.

    I find the story's concept original and playful, and potentially a great way to share an important message: family ties are special.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I think that children really need value lessons of this kind.

    Warmly,

    Sheila

    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. phutchison
    Member

    Hi Lois and everyone!

    Lois, I really loved the idea behind your poem. It is a real "feel good" story. I agree with Sheila, however, and would like to see it as prose. Not that your poem can't live on, but I'd like to see it expanded into perhaps a picture book. I could "see" the illustrations in my mind as I read each stanza.

    I was confused a little as I read, however. When I read the third stanza, it seemed like the child didn't want to hear that she stuck to her family, like perhaps she wanted more autonomy. I guess it was the "No way!" that got me to thinking that. Then she goes on to want to find a way that they can stick together always. It didn't really follow in my mind.

    I also agree with Fernando; I've always learned that the child should come to conclusions, learn lessons, etc. on their own. It shouldn't be stated by adults that there is something they should do or learn, and adults in the story should never come out and ask, "What lesson did you learn?" Father's prompt in the 5th stanza is a little too strong. Perhaps the question should be asked by the little girl, "How can I come up with a way for us to stick together every day?"

    The story left me with a really warm feeling, and I think it would leave children feeling that way, too! I can see a lot of velcro wristbands in the future! Thanks for sharing.

    Patti

    Posted 4 years ago #
  13. edkowalski
    Member

    You could build/attach laminated locket-picture width wristbands into the book and give kids a jump on the idea, but someone else can probably speak much more on books with items in them than I could.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  14. Sheila
    Member

    I strongly agree with Patti. She has homed in on some very important parts of the text to take into consideration.

    Wow, Ed! What a great idea! I think that you and Patti are both on to something. I think that younger children would love creating wristbands like the ones that Lois' character makes. Novelty books are very popular, and I think that when you can couple a great story with a great activity, the book becomes even more marketable and popular with librarians, teachers, bookstores, etc. So many people need quality activities to do with kids.

    Good Luck with this idea, Lois!

    Sheila

    Posted 4 years ago #
  15. Lois
    Member

    Hi Everyone!

    Thanks for all of the constructive feedback! Gives me a few ideas to go with, and polish up the piece :)

    Posted 4 years ago #

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