Three years ago I posted that I was going to see if I could write a chap book. I wrote the story and an editor friend, who rather liked the result, explained to me that what I had written was not a chap book but a middle grade novel. She turned it down for several reasons, not the least of which was my narrative voice.
Since then the story has been reviewed by several others and revised extensively. So far, no sale, but I’m nowhere giving up.
I wrote a second middle grade novel. Again my editor liked it and again she turned it down, again mostly because she didn’t identify with the voice. I sent it elsewhere. Same issue.
I started buying good books written by friends to study how they tell their stories. This past week, thanks to the most recent exchange, I finally got what I’ve been doing wrong. Two days ago I began revising my second novel. Totally. In two days I’ve revamped the first few chapters. I like the way it’s going.
I have a month of work ahead, but I’m excited. I know how to write poetry. I know how to write nonfiction. I know how to write fiction picture books. Now I’m about to know how to write a middle grade novel. One of these days I’ll figure out how to write a chap book, unless it turns out to be something else.