Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy New Year?

Yes, I know it's almost May.

I've been busy writing, revising, and submitting. I finally improved my submission tracking sheet, so now I can keep track of things accurately, instead of, "Oh, I think that's still out at BigHouse. Or was that the one I need to send out again? Hmm."

Starting May 1, Paula Yoo will be hosting her third annual National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee). In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, writers will write one complete picture book a day for a week. Seven days, seven books. Sounds easy, right?

Hmm. I'm not sure about easy. I'll bet it'll be fun, but easy? A picture book has less than 1000 words, limits what descriptions you can use (after all, the illustrator plays a big part), and you still have to have all the parts of a good book.

Good picture books have a well-crafted story, with beginning, middle, and end and do it in only a few words. They have well-drawn characters who kids want to visit over and over again. Picture books have to be appealing enough that they'll be re-read. After all, what parent will shell out almost $20 for a book a child reads once? Not any I know.

I'm practicing this week with the Monthly Write Off over at the Writers' Retreat. Here's hoping I get the hang of fleshing out characters for short books with repeat readability. I'm sure I can do it, and next week will be tons of fun.

What was your favorite picture book as a child?