I've been trying to write 7 picture books in 7 days.
I started out with a bang. Three books in three days!
Monday was a dry well, but last night I finished another one.
So, I have written four.
In desperation, I asked for help over on my other blog.
I needed suggestions for book ideas.
My sister commented "it can't be that hard to think of subjects for children's books"
That is the misconception most people have about writing for children ---"How hard can it be?"
Children's books have been around for years. Every conceivable topic has been written about. The writer needs to come up with a unique twist to a topic. Writing it in a way that makes it seem fresh and different, even though the subject has probably been written about 100 times already by other authors.
Publishers, especially now a days, are looking for something that will sell. They are looking for something a parent will pay good hard earned money for. They are looking for a book a child will want read to them over and over again.
Sometimes, I think too hard. My brain feels like mush right now. My imagination seems to have gone with the wind (Hey, I think I just got an idea for a story). I may not write 7 stories in 7 days, but I'm trying.
I took a somewhat easier route last night and wrote a concept book.
It was an A B C Book. But in doing so, I still needed to make it a little different than the ones already out there. I already titled it, but I did get an idea this morning from one of my blogger's suggestions for a story, and incorporated it into the title.
Even when your imagination takes hold and soars, you still have to convey what you want to say in the least amount of well chosen words as you can. Unlike novels where you can embellish and write and describe to your heart's content, a publisher wants picture books to be under 1000 words, even under 500 words! So you have to choose your words wisely and kick out any unnecessary ones, no matter how attached you are to them.
"How hard can it be to write a picture book?"
"Very Hard," if you want it to shine and stand out among the thousands of others being submitted every year.