"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

11/8/13

Picture Book Ideas

If you've been to my blog lately, you likely realize that for the month of November, I am participating in PiBoIdMo - Picture Book Idea Month. The event, in its fifth year, was started by picture book author Tara Lazar. The idea is to come up with thirty different picture book ideas in the thirty days that encompass November. There is a Facebook group to chat in, a twitter hashtag, and a blog post every day at Tara's blog (by a picture book author and/or illustrator) to inspire you!

I'm definitely having fun with it (in case you haven't guessed!). I bought some index cards attached by two ring things (yes - that IS the technical term, if you were wondering), decorated the cover, and tied a pen to it. This goes with me wherever I go - so I can jot my idea down wherever I go (and there's enough space to expand on it if the idea explodes).

As of the writing of this post (4:30pm on Wednesday - as I had a tech-free day on Thursday the 7th), I had fourteen ideas in my PiBoIdMo notebook - pretty good for six days, eh? I'm fairly certain, in foresight, that number will have increased by the time you read this post. (Friday morning update - I'm to 16 ideas now :D)I'm already halfway there (or more)!

Will every one of them become a picture book some day (on my hard drive - not even necessarily on a book shelf)? Probably not. I have one (a flip kind of book based on the game "Who What Where") that may be logistically impossible. A few others where the idea is odd at best. And some simply won't inspire me beyond the few words I've jotted down. (And I can almost guarantee that I will look at my notes for at least one or two of them and say "what does THAT mean?")

But I'm pretty certain that at least some of them (maybe my Scrabble tiles/popularity/importance idea I got on the first day - or one of the several based on a child's imagination) will grow beyond the scribbles in my PiBoIdMo notebook thing. They might become a list of ideas. A sketch/outline. A rough draft. A polished manuscript. And even - just maybe - a book you can pick up in your local bookstore, on Amazon, or "anywhere that fine books are sold."

And even if that never happens? If the first week of this challenge is any indication, I spent a month having fun, getting to know a whole bunch of picture book authors and illustrators, and learning the craft. Sounds like a good payoff to me!


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.
Do you have a place to record ideas for your next work in progress (whatever it might be)?
 
Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths
Check out these other "p" posts, and/or share your own!

 

14 comments:

  1. It seems you are really enjoying the process! It does look like fun- keep up the good work!

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    1. Thanks, Barb - I AM enjoying it! Having permission to just be creative - and not worry if it becomes anything more than just an idea - is SO freeing :)

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  2. Way to go, Jo!! How fun! =]

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  3. I keep them in a folder in word....Okay I keep them on my notes on the phone, piece of paper, I've even written one in the dust on the table. :)
    Diana

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    1. Your table has time to gather dust? ;) And I do the same thing - and then I can never find them. Loving my little notebook thing!

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  4. This is the first time I've heard of Picture book ideas. What a great idea.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You're very welcome! I'm enjoying itcso much!

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  5. How much fun. This sounds like a good idea to stretch any mind whose creativity has atrophied - even if we don't plan to publish a children's book. Best wishes for a creativity-filled month.

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    1. Thanks, Karen! I will likely go back and do something similar any other time I'm feeling stuck creatively!

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  6. Joanne that sounds so cool! I write and illustrate picture books (Diana - P is for Pass It On - have one we did together on Amazon) I'm going to check this out! Great P idea! Linda :)

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    1. Hope you enjoy it, Linda! Will keep my eye out for ya!

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  7. Sounds like tons of fun! Enjoy!

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