When we write, we influence people, especially when the writing is fiction and readers are looking for entertainment, not attitudes or other subjective content. This is especially true with children. As writers, we have to consider the subtle cultural messages we are reinforcing with our tales. We have unusual opportunities and it is our responsibility to at least think about what we are saying. Sometimes when we do, we don’t even agree with ourselves!
Even if you have not signed up for Julie Hedlund’s fantastic 12 x 12 (Twelve picture book manuscripts in twelve months) program, you can benefit from her line-up of featured authors, editors, and agents. First up this year, author and consultant Emma Walton Hamilton offers a super mini-course in picture book construction. If you have a manuscript, or just an idea, take a few minutes to read it. You won’t be sorry.
You only have a few paragraphs to capture a reader, whether a buyer on a site or in a bookstore, or a publishing professional. In this great post from Kathy Temean, agent Sean McCarthy critiques first page submissions from three different children’s book authors.
Ready to edit your books from NaNoWriMo or just one you’ve had in a drawer for a while? Here are some terrific ideas from The Write Practice blog.
If you write picture books, this quick post by Tara Lazar will help you sharpen your next manuscript. It examines the role of the number three. There is a reason that there aren’t five little pigs or four bears.
This useful post from The Write Practice blog includes a definition, examples, advice, and even a practice exercise.
Here’s a great post about what NaNoWriMo is great for, and what it is not. It will help you create a first draft and get down unexpected ideas. A draft like that will need many revisions. Leave your finished work alone for a while at the end of the month. Then go back and start the work of reshaping, adding, and cutting that will make your story work.
My friend Jane Heitman Healy writes about picture books and life in her blog this week.
Write three pages or 750 words a day. This is not for anyone else. It’s just for you. Think therapy or just a random brain dump. Check it out. It might just clear out emotional clogs that are keeping you stuck. Here’s the link: http://750words.com/
Are you participating in one of the many creativity challenges out there this month? It’s almost midway and you could be running out of ideas. Here are some ways to rev your creative engines from the Write Practice blog. http://thewritepractice.com/writing-ideas/