Saturday, July 26, 2014

Not Every Idea is a Good Idea—Unfortunately

When it comes to picture books, there are lots of story ideas. But as picture book writers, it is important to learn to discern between a good idea and a not so good idea. But how does one do this? Here are 5 authors and their tips on how to do just that.

1)Kate Messner says to write more. “Write something else. Something new. Write more. Because if you’re anything like me, you may have to skip a lot of stones before you get it just right.” Read more of her blog post here. I highly recommend it.

2)Josh Funk says that some ideas don’t work, and that’s ok. “Just grab your notebook and find another one.” Read his blog post here.

3)Tammi Sauer says to start with the title. “For me, the absolute hardest part about the picture book creating process is coming up with a good idea. A wow idea. An irresistible-to-editors idea. One approach that has worked for me is to brainstorm a list of potential titles before I even know a single word of a manuscript.” Read the entire article here.

4)Kelly DiPucchio says to relax. “One thing I have learned is that you can’t force inspiration. You need to relax, go about life, and trust that new ideas will emerge when the time is right.” Read her entire answer here.

5)Tom Litchenheld uses photographs of kids. “For inspiration, I have a bunch of photos of kids on my wall. Whenever I'm stuck for an idea, I look at one of those photographs and think to myself, ‘What would make THAT kid laugh?’” Read more here.

Looks like there are many different ways to find that good idea.

Imagination and Words

These are two things every writer needs … in abundance

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Treasure Trove of Words

The library is a treasure trove of words. My kids and I frequent this place as we try to find as many treasures as we can. Sometimes we get lucky and find so many treasures that we can hardly carry them in our arms (that is when we use the baby’s car seat). And on those occasions, we come home and enjoy our loot. We sit on the couch and neglect everything else. Toys are not played with, bikes are not ridden, TV is not watched, and dinner is not made. But we don’t care. We have found amazing, wonderful, beautiful books, and that truly is something to treasure.