The most wonderful time of the year for picture book writers is almost here.
PiBoIdMo or Picture Book Idea Month created by author Tara Lazar, is an annual writing challenge scheduled during the full month of November. Beginning on the first day of the month, participants will receive daily inspirational blog posts and writing exercises by picture book authors, illustrators, and editors. The only thing that would make this event more awesome would be the chance to win prizes. Wait. What? Yes, there will be prizes!
The goal is to generate 30 ideas to deposit into a writer’s picture book idea bank. We all know the first step in the process of writing a picture book is coming up with a story idea. And we often hear what Mark Twain said, “There is no such thing as a new idea.” If that is true, how are we supposed to come up with something original that an editor or agent will consider book worthy? One way is to spin and twist old ideas to create new intriguing combinations.
Here are a few great examples:
Fractured Fairy Tales
Little Red is a fairy tale figure skater who needs to win a paired skating competition. She needs a partner. The other characters are taken. But there’s one with big eyes, sharp teeth, and furry paws available. Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar
Ginny Louise is a new addition to a class of troublemakers who is so cheerful she is unable to find fault in any of her cranky classmates. And that ultimately changes their bullying attitudes. Ginny Louise and the School Showdown by Tammy Sauer
Leftovers Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast engage in a race around other foods in the refrigerator to get to that last drop of maple syrup. Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast by Josh Funk
Little pirate Ned will do anything to avoid bedtime. He convinces Papa Pirate there are things he must do before settling in for the night. Pirate’s Lullaby: Mutiny at Bedtime by Marcie Wessels
Percy the Pug finds the perfect puddle but the puddle pigs who inhabit it won’t share. Puddle Pug by Kim Norman
Each one of these books started with an idea, perhaps a random thought, or a “what if” question. Reading and listening to interviews about authors often give us the story behind their story idea. And you will be surprised how, when, where, and under what circumstances those ideas came to them. That is what PiBoIdMo is about. Finding out what works for others may just work for you too.
There will be days during the month when ideas just won’t show up. Like they’re playing a game of ”keep away”.
And you’ll feel like this.
Hang in there.
Other days you’ll be thrilled when they come.
Here’s my PiBoIdMo Pledge.
I will register on Sunday October 25, 2015 by entering my name in the registration blog post.
I will assemble all necessary tools to be available 24/7 for 30 days of November.
I will read every post, comment daily when possible, and complete the exercises.
I will record all my ideas, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I will not beat my head against the computer, but I will do a jig when I think of a story idea.
Hope to see you in November, on Tara’s blog or on the PiBoIdMo Facebook page!