Friday, August 19, 2011

Deb Lund On Writing Picture Books

I don’t write picture books, nor do I intend to try, but I found Deb’s presentation informative. Picture books are generally 32 pages, but your mss may not be that long. [under 1000 words] Some of these pages will be illustrations. Written for ages 3-7.
They come in 14 double spreads- 2 sides of the page 14 times.
The pictures tell the story, too. They SHOW don’t tell
Story picture books around 400 words
Characters solve their own problems
Picture books are meant to be read aloud- they should be in a kid’s voice, but can include challenging words [ provides an opportunity for teachers and parents to teach vocabulary]
Focus on action and dialogue

Writing is a combination of memory and imagination
We each need a list of what we are interetd in
There has to be a problem- the crux of the tale
No struggle? No story.
Create a character and put them in peril. Writers are troublemakers.
Make use of your senses to convey emotions. If you NAME the emotion, ie He is bored, you are telling instead of showing. [He rolled his eyes, yawned, and looked at his watch.] *

She explained a Storysaurus [this was a line drawing of a dinosaur to demonstrate the rising and falling action of a story. Beginning, middle, (the high point of the dinosaur’s back,) and end.]

Her last words of advice
1. Write!
2. Learn the craft
3. Join SCBWI {Society of Children’s book Writers& Illustraors}

Book recommendations: Creating Characters Kids Will Love Elaine Marie Alphonse

The ABC’s of Writing for Children Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacraft, ed.

Story Sparkers- A creativity Guide For Children’s Writers Debbie Dadey

• That evening, Deb held workshops with exercises to help us show not tell. In one, she had each of us take an “emotion’ card. Each card contained nouns and adjectives, ie Grief, fear, greed, etc. She asked for volunteers to “act-out” the emotion. The rest of us were to describe the actor’s actions. For example, the woman who demonstrated Grief: “Folded into herself as if closing a shell and screamed.”
• The next exercise was similar, but this time we drew personality traits, like selfish, proud, adventurous, etc. Both of these are fun in a large group.

Happy Writing.

1 comment:

  1. I think you have an outstanding blog, Laura, and I'm awarding you one of the five Liebster Awards this week. Cindy (