Picture Books

PiBoIdMo (almost) Halfway Report

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Picture Books, Writing Inspiration | 0 comments

PiBoIdMo (almost) Halfway Report

On Nov 6, I talked about participating in PiBoIdMo (the brainchild of author Tara Lazar) and I thought I’d let you know how it’s going so far. I’ve been able to come up with an idea every day, but it hasn’t always been easy. Which cracks me up because one of the first questions I usually get at school visits is “Where do you get your ideas?”and my answer has always been–from everywhere! Something I hear from a friend or family member, something I’ve read, something one of my kids has said or one of their friends… And that’s still...

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Picture Book Ideas–I’m Going For It!

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Picture Books, Writing Inspiration | 2 comments

Picture Book Ideas–I’m Going For It!

Picture book author, Tara Lazar, started Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) in response to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The great thing is you just have to come up with one idea (not an entire story) per day. Of course, the plan is to have a few manuscripts result from these ideas, but we don’t have to flesh those out unless we’re inspired. I decided to do it this year and I’m excited so far. See that pic of my blank calendar below? I printed that on Friday. It has been filled in with five ideas–today’s idea isn’t on there yet, but it will be!...

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Premature Sending: Give Your Story Time

Posted by on Jul 29, 2014 in Picture Books | 4 comments

Premature Sending: Give Your Story Time

Last February when I was at the SCBWI New York Conference, I received an exciting e-mail from my agent saying that a publisher was interested in my toddler rhyming manuscript, but thought it would work better as a series and did I have any ideas for one? My answer: Of course not—but I’d come up with one! I noodled a bit on a few things and then, when I was going to bed, I asked my subconscious to please come up with a series idea by morning. It obliged and I developed an idea for the different things a toddler might experience throughout the day. We pitched the series idea to...

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Picture Book Revision Realities

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Picture Books, Writing Inspiration | 8 comments

Picture Book Revision Realities

Just before the holidays I received an email with some wonderful, thought-provoking suggestions from my editor for a new picture book manuscript. Here’s a fun tidbit: The manuscript was 515 words. Her email? 769 words, not counting the salutation and closing :-). I point this out because a lot of times new writers believe that shorter means less work. Sometimes that’s true, but sometimes it isn’t. To be fair, even though her email was longer than my manuscript, her comments only pointed to a few things, with suggestions for how to approach it. She did a great job of...

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Writer’s Studio: Finding the Emotional Resonance

Posted by on Oct 4, 2013 in Picture Books, Writer Tips & Tools | 2 comments

Last weekend I had the pleasure and honor of presenting at our 2013 Fall Letters & Lines Conference. The session I gave was called “What’s Your Picture Book About? Developing Effective Story Summaries.” One of the most wonderful things about picture books is that there is such a variety of types; not every picture book is a traditional narrative story with a character, a conflict, and a resolution. However, for those that follow this model, I encouraged writers to go deeper and find and exploit the emotional resonance in their stories. Using Maurice Sendak’s Where...

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Writing Picture Books: Inside an Illustrator’s Mind

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Picture Books, Writer Tips & Tools | 0 comments

Last month in my post Writing Picture Books: The Evolution of a Picture Book, I mentioned the lovely and talented artist & illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi. This week’s post is all about Debbie’s generosity in sharing her work and process. All of you who have been in this for awhile or have attended my classes, know how important it is to let go of the “movie” of your picture book playing in your head so that the illustrator can do his or her job with your text. In her post How I’m Bored Was Created, Debbie walks through the process of getting the manuscript...

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