I attended workshops over the weekend about writing picture books for children.
Marc Harshman - He is West Virginia's poet laureate and a picture book writer. And, he is a very nice person! Click here for his amazon page. Though I notice that there are a few books missing that he has written, including two of his latest, Mountain Christmas and One Big Family.
Anna Egan Smucker - She is another West Virginia author who writes picture books. Click here for her Amazon page.
Ashley Teets - An illustrator from West Virginia. Click here for books on Amazon that she has illustrated.
One of Ashley's suggestions was to write with a lot of verbs.
We also did a drawing exercise where we closed our eyes and, with a crayon, made a doodle on a page. Open your eyes. Look at the picture from all angles. Draw a picture from your doodle. It just may be an inspiration for a new manuscript.
I drew a picture of a tortoise in a hurry. His head was stretched way out and he was really getting down the road. I see a picture book here. Harry, the Tortoise in a Hurry. :o)
Anna, who always writes her first drafts in pencil, says to think in pictures.
Leave a space or draw a line when you think there will be a page turn.
Make sure enough happens in your story.
Try different ways to tell your story.
All of her books, except one, were sent out to publishers without using an agent!
I took the advantage of seeing these authors and got a few of my books autographed by them.
What am I going to do now?
I am going to go over my picture books - again.
I am going to make sure that my words (500 or less) provide enough opportunities for the illustrator to do his or her job.
And I am going to make sure there is enough going on in my story.
Hope you enjoyed my post.
Now get out your pencil and paper and write - or doodle.
Do you have any suggestions on writing picture books?