Posts Tagged "picture books"

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...

Read More

Writer’s Studio: Finding the Emotional Resonance

Posted by on Oct 4, 2013 in Picture Books, Writer Tips & Tools, Writer's Studio | 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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Writing Picture Books: The Evolution of a Picture Book

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

I’m always so pleased with the generosity of fellow authors who share their process. Today I’m happy to spread that generosity. Author Linda Ashman provides an amazing look at one of her recent books, Rain, pictures by Christian Robinson. (I used her book, Samantha on a Roll, back in November 2012 for Writing Picture Books: Unique Characters). Linda mentions that the original version of the manuscript was around 1,000 words, mostly describing what was going on in this nearly wordless picture book. I highly recommend checking out the manuscript and her storyboard to see how she...

Read More

Jumpstart #41: Character prompt

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Jumpstart Mondays | 0 comments

INTRO:¬†Every Monday is Jumpstart Monday so I will be trying out things to help me get into my writing for the week; hopefully these will help you too. When I was at the SCBWI Conference in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, I attended a session with author Barbara Bottner entitled “Using Your Shadow Side as a Source for Picture Book Story and Character.” It gave me a lot to think about and I decided to adapt one of her prompts for use here. I think this is equally effective for other books besides picture books. Prompt: Write down something you have thought to yourself that you...

Read More