10 Tips for Picture Book Writers

Digital Media spin…

WordDreams...

I have a wonderful efriend–Kath Unsworth–who writes and draws children’s books. She blogs at Miniscule Moments, her take on life and writing, with lots of her original drawings. I had the honor of being a beta reader on one of her children’s books and was blown away. The voice is excellent, the plot perfect for youngers, but what really made the book was the pictures. They were fresh, original, and communicated the written word perfectly.

Which is why I asked Kath to write a post in my Genre series on tips for writing picture books. You’re going to enjoy this article:

picture booksYou Are Never too Old to Learn Something New

I want to thank Jacqui for inviting me over. I am working on my first picture book and it has been an amazing journey of learning. You are never to old to learn. I should know, I am turning fifty…

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Writer’s Tip #76: Use a Photo to Develop Characters, Setting

Great tips to merge with my Digital Media class.

WordDreams...

When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.

This tip was brought to mind by one of my readers. My current WIP is so far from its beginnings that I’d forgotten it started with photos to draw character profiles and Google Earth images to create the setting details. But it did. I remember browsing through internet images of paleoanthropologists, staring in their eyes to see if they were Kali or Zeke (my two main characters). Did they have her fragile spirit or his swash-buckling former SEAL-gone-scientist persona? Once I found the right image, I read everything I could find about that…

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Writer’s Tip #87: 7 Tips Picked Up From the Plot Whisperer

Systems…

WordDreams...

When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.

These 7 tips are from a busy plot consultant I just discovered (where have I been?). Her name is Martha Alderson, better known as the Plot Whisperer. Her clients include best-selling authors, New York editors, and Hollywood movie directors (according to her FB bio). She has so many helpful ideas, tips and books on her blog and Twitter. Go visit. If you’re short on time, read these seven I culled from the deluge:

  1. Beware: Do not succumb to a personal crisis as protagonist reaches darkest moment. Evoke the emotion in your writing

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Stephen King’s Ten Commandments of Writing

Great resource

WordDreams...

stephen king quotesI got a lot of feedback on Nathan Branford’s 10 Commandments I published a few weeks ago, so I wanted to share another collection. I picked Stephen King because there’s been a buzz about his book,On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, in my PLN–even though it’s a good fourteen years old. When I went searching for his  ubiquitous Writer’s Ten Commandments, I found lots of lists, but each different. It became clear that he has so many great suggestions, trying to distill it to ten became a subjective decision.

What was universal was this #1 Commandment:

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Stephen King is another in a long list of ultimate writers who exhort would-be authors that the foundation of good writing is reading. I can’t tell you how often I’ve…

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48 Collections to Infuse Your Writing

Challenge accepted.

WordDreams...

descriptionsFor the next few months, weekly writing tips will revolve around word choice. That includes:

  • colorful and original descriptions
  • pithy words and phrases
  • picture nouns and action verbs
  • writing that draws a reader in and addicts them to your voice

I keep a  collection of descriptions that have pulled me into the books. I’m fascinated how authors can–in just a few words–put me in the middle of their story and make me want to stay there. I’ve shared 40 themes in the past:

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What is the Flipped Classroom

Innovation @ work…

Ask a Tech Teacher

When I was editing the 8th grade tech curriculum, I got wowed by ‘infographics’–a visual approach to communicating information. Yes, I have known for a long time about ‘infographics’, but haven’t really paused to considered their strength. This dove-tailed nicely when I started getting questions from readers like, “What is a ‘flipped classroom’?”

Here–take a look at this one from Cool Infographics (and click the link–they have some great visual stuff over there):

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This is the flagship blog for The Culminating Project (TCP) required by the National Academy Foundation’s Academy of Information Technology.

The student will create, develop and administer their personal brand after completing all prerequisite work and projects to achieve full credit.