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Review In 29 Steps Plus One

I just finished to read a book. A story for kids (yes, I like them), interesting, told with participation and sometimes irony.

Which is the problem, then? Simple, if the author have been reading "How to Write a Children's Book in 30 Days or Less" by Caterina Christakos, he could have written it decidedly better.

There aren't outcrying defects, but something doesn't work. The characters seem a little flat, descriptions o vercome the story, the author sometimes appears between the lines...

Who is Caterina Christakos, anyway? She is an actress, protagonist of the film "Alone and Restless", and a model for companies like Physique and Sephora.

She is also a published author of books like: "And Dreams Lost Along the Way", "If I Could Remember All the Things She Forgot", "How to Completely Blow Your Competition Away at Any Audition" and many articles (search the net).

And she also wrote "How to Write a Children's Book in 30 Days or Less". A book that shines like a small jewel. Of course, exists plenty of books teaching to write, addressed to beginners or published authors.

This book is different. It's truly packed with useful advices since the first page. It's a book to use, read, study, take and retake, accompanying you as you write *your* book.

It is dense of precious tips. Sure, not all is new. Some techniques can be found in other books, in writing courses, in internet sites...

For example, to carry always a pad and pen, to talk with childrens, to prevent the ill-famed writer's block, to open the story with a bang... Tips perhaps already known, but here they succeed in composing an harmonic, progressive whole, a structured and organized plan.

The things become interesting when Caterina Christakos explains how to create *incredible* characters. And, incredibly, her method is one of the simplest and more intuitive.

Use the common sense, she recommends, look at people around you. Think of them as characters: your uncle behind the store counter, your cousin as a tender school-teacher, that limping boy with thick glasses as a brave hero who saves his friends...

What? You know nobody? Fear not. Switch on the television, leaf through the magazines, surf the net. But then, why to limit yourselves to the human race? In many other species you will find characters for your book.

The main point is this: you must know your characters. And to know them you must sketch their biography. Not only their height, eyes color, mannerisms, but above all their soul and mind, the experiences that forged them, the strong points and the weaknesses...

Write, write pages about them. Perhaps no one of those traits will appear in the final draft. This is not a problem: these qualities will help you to understand what your characters will make in a specified situation.

Many times will be just your characters who indicate how to pull them from intricate situations, to advance the story, to resolve the problems that will spring out along the road...

The central part of the book is... the ending! It indicates the day by day activities that will allow you to create a draft, edit it, breathe life into your characters, prepare the manuscript for publication - eventually publish it yourselves as an e-book.

All this in thirty days.

Look at the calendar on the wall in front of you, or open your diary... Which day is today? Well, between thirty days you could have finished your first book. Or your second, third... who knows?

Thirty days. Thirty-short-days.

Perhaps you will not produce twelve books this year... Not even Caterina Christakos seems to have made it, as far as I know.

Nevertheless, in thirty days you will succeed to create a story with vivid, lifelike characters, that will touch the reader's heart.

And you will not have to neglect your daily activities: for example to bath the dog, vacuum the house, do the laundry, follow your preferred show...

But it doesn't end here. Caterina Christakos makes an interesting recommendation, hard to be found in other books: use your imagination! In a new way.

Every writer possesses imagination, fantasy, ability to "see things". But often he uses it only to see herself as a scribbler that nobody will ever esteem, an author that the critics will demolish without mercy, a dreamer that no editor will want to publish.

The author invites to make the same, to use the imagination, but this time in a positive manner, in order to create a "treasure map".

The "treasure map" is a sort of great screen in which to see yourselves reaching the success, leafing with satisfaction through your published book, or signing in the middle of a fans crowd.

It's a technique useful not only to reach the success as a writer, but also to achieve whichever goal in your life.

You can have your copy of "How to Write a Children's Book in 30 Days or Less" visiting webpage of Caterina Christakos at:

What else? Your copy, grab it as soon as possible.

And now... see you in thirty days (or less)!

About The Author

Gianfranco Cazzaro is an italian freelance writer, especially dedicated to tales and articles for children and teens. Visit his website (in italian and partly in english) at: or e-mail him:

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