This is the third year I have completed Tara Lazarre’s StoryStorm Challenge to generate 30 new story ideas (one a day) in the month of January. Though Tara’s challenge is focused primarily on picture books, I use the month to generate ideas for board books, non-fiction, young fiction and even MG and the odd YA… Read More Evaluating Ideas after StoryStorm 2020
If you are a writer of picture books, young fiction, children’s chapter books or short stories and poems, you are probably someone who has lots of story ideas. If you’ve been writing for many years or taken part in StoryStorm and the PB 12×12 challenge, you may have hundreds! Where do you write them down?… Read More How to store and Sort your Story Ideas
My StoryStorm month of idea generation. I’ve just finished StoryStorm, an annual challenge where participants pledge to write down a story idea a day for the month of January. There’s a daily blog post to inspire and lots of giveaways from mentors. I’ve always kept a notebook of ideas (on my iphone) and I’ve never… Read More StoryStorm 2018: How did I do?
On a flight from London to Nice, I came across this article in the inflight magazine and it got me thinking… Little Wins: The Huge Power of Thinking like a Toddler. It was a review of a book written by Paul Lindley, entrepreneur and founder of Ella’s Kitchen, the company who make those colourful food… Read More Growing Down – Thinking Like Young Children
Despite attending writing classes, which herald the benefits of properly planning a novel, I still dive straight in, ‘pantsing it,’ with only a broad three act overview and a couple of character portraits. Why? Because I’m enthused. I have the dramatic first few scenes in my head and I want to get them down on… Read More Six Reasons to Write a Story Map
I went on the Tuesday and Thursday this year using the SCBWI members three day ticket. Fellow SCBWI’s have been asking if the Fair is worth it and I would say, yes, if you are gearing up for submission, if you want to meet/hear/talk to well known authors and publishers and if you want to find… Read More Notes from the London Book Fair
Part 1. Places We’ve had lots of conversations in my critique group lately about how to describe places and people. So I thought I would check out how children’s greatest and best authors tackle it, starting with place… Here’s an extract from… His Dark Materials, by Phillip Pullman. Directly ahead of the ship a mountain… Read More How to write fantastic descriptive passages
Karl Iglesias in Writing for Emotional Impact, states we can experience three different types of emotion when we read books or watch movies. Voyeuristic emotions relate to our curiosity about new information, new worlds and the relationship between characters. In this mindset we are interested onlookers but perhaps not fully emotionally engaged. Vicarious emotions are… Read More How to evoke emotion in your readers?
A picture book writer’s tool kit is awesome, it’s why I write picture books. Playing with these techniques is great fun. Remember, picture books are meant to be read out loud. So go to town – bold and wacky is good. But remember the audience. Keep the concept and structure simple. And short! Rhyme There is… Read More Being creative with words. The picture book writers tool kit.
I jumped at the chance to meet Pippa Goodhart and listen to her words of wisdom at the recent SCBWI Author Masterclass on Writing Picture Books in London. My children love her book You Choose; it’s so well thumbed it’s fallen apart! You Choose is a concept book with just 220 words. The words are… Read More Good Picture Book Advice from Pippa Goodhart – Keep it short!