So back in 2015 I had an idea for a picture book that I thought was brilliant. Let’s call it PB1. I worked on various revisions, got feedback, revised some more, sent it to my agent, got more feedback and then…we agreed it was ready to submit.
We got a lot of passes, though one editor really loved it, but couldn’t get the rest of the team on board. The last of the passes trickled in last fall.
And the story sat while I was immersed in NaNoWriMo for my YA and was focused on another picture book that I’d been working on with my agent. We’ll call this PB2.
So last week I looked at the list of picture books I wanted to work on in 2017 and decided PB1 was closest to being ready. Just a few tweaks based on editorial feedback and we’d be ready to go again.
So I pulled it up, typed up some thoughts and some of the editorial feedback and sent it to my in-person picture book critique group, thinking I had minor work ahead of me. And it could have been minor. Except when we met yesterday it became mind-blowing.
Because they helped me see that I’d been holding on to this one wordplay element and trying to get everything to fit that. (Thank you, Geniuses!) When I let go of that aspect and listened to their other ideas, the entire story began to shift.
And this morning I woke up with a completely new angle and an ending that made me laugh out loud—that’s always a good sign.
And the Moral of This Tale…
is obvious. Look at your story through a different lens. Or better yet, give it to some fresh eyes to read. Go back to what first excited you about the story or look at the seed of your idea. Do you need to return to that or move beyond it? In my case, I needed to more beyond it. I rewrote the story this morning in a matter of hours and sent it to my online picture book group. We’ll see what they say.
In the meantime, I’ve got to decide which picture book I want to work on next and make some progress on the YA.
Hope your weekend is filled with fun and creativity – in all its forms!