Book Alchemy
The Secret Library Podcast
#23 Heidi Fiedler Rocks Structure and Kids Books

#23 Heidi Fiedler Rocks Structure and Kids Books

Heidi Fiedler has worked on over 300 Children's Books.

Can I just say 300 books? 300 titles! As Heidi made clear on the show, she did not write all 300 of these books. She has emphasized that children's books are shorter than adult books. Even so, she's been a developmental or series editor and was involved with significant aspects of all 300. We have a lot to learn from this lady.

Whether you are into writing children's books or not, her insights on structure and planning out books for continuity, plot, and to keep things engaging and exciting are essential for any writer. We also explore the ways visual elements and words have to work together in all books, not just those for kids. 

Show Notes for Episode 23 with Heidi Fiedler:

  • 300 Books ?!? (1:45)

  • Trends in children's books and the need for narrative (3:30)

  • The visual element (4:15)

  • The incredible number of books out there and how to stand out (5:00)

  • Non-fiction in children's books (5:30) 

  • The evolution of children's books (7:45)

  • The blurring of the genre lines and the end of dry writing (8:45)

  • Reading to learn and the experience of reading for kids (9:30)

  • Heidi on writing her own books (11:40) 

  • Brainstorming and making an idea into a book (13:30)

  • Thinking about the effect a book will have on the reader (15:15)

  • The tension between thinking about the reader and forgetting about them to keep writing (17:00)

  • The editor/writer tension split (18:45)

  • Book Mapping as a planning tool & fix for continuity and plot holes (20:00) 

  • Lists to make while working on a project (27:15)

  • Reflecting on your own work at the beginning & getting feedback (28:00)

  • The importance of reading aloud (29:15)

  • The collaboration between illustration and text for children's books (30:00)

  • Submitting a children's book to a publisher (31:15) 

  • Having control and giving up control as a children's author (34:00)

  • The connection of writing and Instagram (for writers who don't get twitter) (35:30)

  • The visual and its impact on print books and building the writing & reading community (38:00)

  • Covers and the impact on sales(41:00)

  • Writer and editor costumes and modes (43:30)

Full show notes with links | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

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Book Alchemy
The Secret Library Podcast
Most people believe that books are created in cabins all alone, where authors pound away on some manner of keyboard. Then they hand this masterpiece off to a publisher and it feels very much like it goes down a tube and comes out the other side as a book. By speaking to authors and other book lovers, I'm diving into the mystery that is the book world today.