Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Writing Stories and Getting Ideas

I love writing stories and getting ideas.

Usually writing picture books requires a lot of writing and editing as other stories do, but this week an idea came to me and I wrote.

I read picture books a lot and it seems that the simplest ideas and short texts are very popular. I sometimes tend to get wordy and go into too much detail. This story, however, has only two main characters and it is rhyming. I know, I know they say don't submit rhyming books! Editors don't want to see them! Well, I did it anyway. Unfortunately, writers can be stubborn.

Children love rhyming books and you see them on the shelves all the time. I tried to write this story so the publishers would not cringe, wad it up and throw it at the trash can! The rhymes were right on, there were no "almost rhymes" (which editors don't like to see), but I had to work on the rhythm a lot. That's where I have most of my trouble, getting the rhythm just right.

I used to think if I got the syllables the same, it was right. Wrong! I'm learning that syllables and rhythm are two different things entirely.

I almost gave up on it and quit. But, I didn't! I put it aside a few nights ago, went to bed and started fresh the next day. I didn't think I could do it, but I finally got the rhythm right (at least I think I did). I also emailed it to a poet friend of mine and asked about the rhythm. She offered a couple of very good suggestions and brought a smile to my face. After reading it aloud again and again (thanks, hubby, for being my sounding board), I also changed a few boring verbs to better verbs and I am happy with the end result.

It is short and sweet (only 221 words), but I have faith in it.

Did a story or idea ever come to you and you just loved the result.? Thought it was meant to be?

This is one of those stories. I really like it, now let's hope the judges do, too.

I also rewrote one of my older picture books and entered it into the WVWriters Competition, too. One of the things I did was take out characters that didn't need to be there (Even though I loved those characters). This is another one of my manuscripts that I think is meant to be. I also added a concept to the story, I added the days of the week.

In all, I sent out five entries to the WVWriters Competition. Wish me luck that at least one places. We'll find out in June.

I think, in the meantime, I will send out my new picture book to a publisher, also. I haven't sent to publishers lately and I have to remedy that situation.

Anyone been sending out stories lately? Anyone been cutting and slicing and getting rid of clutter? Anyone been inspired with an idea? If so, go for it. It may be your next accepted piece.


  1. Janet,
    I loved your post. I'd also love to read one of your picture books someday.
    I've always loved children's stories and now that I have eight grandchildren we do a lot of reading together.
    You'll see by my blog that I am submitting one story this afternoon - if I don't fall apart before I get it to the post office. I'm still fiddling with the last few pages. Darn. What is that about. Do we never get finished with it. I think we just have to let it go. Good luck to you! Blessings.

  2. Thanks for checking out my blog! I've officially become a follower of yours - I love childrens books! My daughter asked me to write one for her and I'm posting the first chapter on my blog tomorrow. Come and check it out! I have no idea how to write childrens books, so please...don't laugh ;-)

  3. Somebody has to write rhyming picture books. Why not you? :)


  4. Go you! Good luck with all your entries! WOW you're prolific!

  5. Yep. I know what you mean when a ms just flows, and after a few days of editing it feels so right.

    Thanks for the reminder.


  6. Oh baby I'm sittin' on seventeen picture book. Yep, they rhyme. Children love the rhythm and rhymes read to them. I was sidetracked by parents illnesses and never got back to submitting manuscripts again. I need to do that. My brain never stops and I just stay inspired. I'm just that kinda chick! Heehehehe!

    Good luck on your entries and your submission.

    Ya'll have a blessed day! :o)

  7. Janet,
    Good luck on getting your new children's book published. Thank you for the tips and ideas about writing. Your blog is great. You always inspire me to keep on keeping on with my writing.


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