I am looking down the pathway of writing my way to the mountain of my completed first draft.
Using my plan and outline as a map and continuing to read books that inspire me when I become stuck, I have reached my fourth chapter.
I am following the plan, but letting the characters help me construct them as I write them. I look forward to seeing you at the other end of the first draft.
I was delighted to write two and a half chapters today.
At this point I am trying not to censor each sentence and perfect it but rather get the character and my plot and scenes down cleanly and then I will work on other aspects in my second draft.
With this draft I am determined to get my structural plot, pacing and introduction of characters very clear.
I have started reading Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars. (2016) It’s so beautifully written and delightful, you just want to read it from the first paragraph. This will be the task of my second draft.
It’s still early in Picture Book Idea Month, and hopefully you’re all still overflowing with ideas that you can put down on paper. It does get tougher as the month continues, but bravo to you for taking up the challenge!
You’re going to come up with a lot of different kinds of ideas. You’ll think of titles, puns, and images that you see in your mind’s eye. You’ll imagine complicated scenarios and Holy Grails. You’ll draft punchlines and scenes that tug at the heart. All of these varied things can eventually grow into a beautiful, successful picture book.
But no matter what you start with, character is almost always the key to crafting a book that will be published.
POPPYCOCK! you say. CODSWALLOP! BUNK! After all, there are so many other things we hear about that make editors want to publish a manuscript. Compelling plots. Flawless…
There’s too many stories in my head
I want to tell them
so I can be free.
They begin by spilling onto the page in fragments
but which ones will stick there and make their journey to a reader somewhere
all jostle with each other and have characters who demand
‘give me my journey and my fate
or author you better beware.’
I want to keep up with my characters
but just as I am focusing another character says, ‘pick me.’
There are some who have an urgent voice and push others aside.
They want my attention first.
They emerge from both shadows and light, from optimism and despair.
Some days sorrow is stronger than the light.
They emerge from memory, and dreaming
nightmares and insight.
There are others who begin with promise and
fade away like puzzles that need more mulling over.
I have this feeling they’re going to resurface just when I want
to sleep or finish another story that isn’t quite there.
But I have to find focus.
Who is speaking the loudest,
strongest, most poetic, intriguing, and most questioning?
Sometime I have to take a break
centre myself by listening to music
Tracey Chapman, James Blunt, Dylan, 2cellos, and more
and in listening to their music more ideas emerge
I look for side tracks where the answers lie
in that stillness I see that my writing passion comes
from characters close to the bone.
They may originally come from the real world.
as I write of them they make me weep, laugh, and bring me extreme frustration
kind of like life
kind of life memory
kind of like my children in their teenage incarnations
kind of like imagination.
I could command them
but sometimes they’re sure they command me.
I am hoping Maya Angelou might dance with my characters
let my characters rise
And as they rise breathe into the soul of the story
become flesh on bone
feet on dancers
fingers on hands
soul on body.
They want to justify their existence
tell their story
do their dance
be close to the bone.