Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Having fun with...picture books

As a mom I have read countless picture books to my three kids when they were little. And as a writer studying the format I have borrowed many books from my library and purchased some I truly loved. I enjoy writing for teens, college age and adults, but there is something special about picture books. They hold a special wonderment, have a sense of innocence, and when coupled with the perfect illustrator, text and image do something wonderful together. 

They create magic.

I know when I've found a magical book. There's this feeling which spreads inside of me and then I smile, not a small smile but something huge, and I instantly know that both author and artist have captured the beauty of what makes picture books special. I discovered a handful of these beauties last year when I researched popular and award winning picture books. 

How about trying to write one?

Well, at first I thought I couldn't. I like to write. I'll be the first to admit I can be long-winded. I love setting and description--two aspects Then something interesting happened. My muse did the work for me when the voices and images of characters changed from teens and twenty somethings to little kids or animals. I still find the format challenging but participating in PiBoIdMo last November showed me something. I can come up with ideas for picture books. Lots of ideas and the process was a lot of fun.

I've also tried my hand at writing a trio of picture books so when an author I admire and follow, Susanna Hill, announced her First Annual Valentiny Writing Contest I knew I had to try. I had chickened out at her other holiday contests at Halloween and again at Christmas (despite having ideas for stories). This time I was determined to do it all.

Guess what? I did it. At least I hope I did. I came up with the required 214 word picture book story. So my next post will be my attempt at my own Valentiny story. I hope you enjoy it.

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