Yes you can complete a children’s book

My fourth children’s picture book to the editor so thought I’d share with you a bit about my process.  kid reading a picture book

Writing a children’s picture book isn’t easy, but it doesn’t need to be daunting.

As with all stories, it begins with an idea.

ideas scribbled on paper

Here is how my new idea began. A friend’s grandson gave me the spark of an idea when she shared his reaction to A Reluctant Little Prince. Apparently, he was fascinated with the firefighter page.

flame in handA nugget of an idea began to form in the back of my mind. As the days and weeks passed, I played with several versions of what to do with my flickering flame.

Eventually, the story came together.

Now I must decide whether to attempt the illustrations myself or find an affordable illustrator.

Hope to have the new book released in the fall. Wish me luck.

If you have an idea swirling around in your mind, go for it. Here are some tips that might help.

Josh Funk’s Guide to Writing Picture Books

Check out the other posts I’ve written in the past about writing picture books.

Do you think writing a picture book is easy?

What you need to know about writing a children’s book?

I love reading your comments, so tell me… 

Have you written a children’s book? Leave a link in the comments section. I’d love to pass on the info.

Are you thinking about writing a children’s picture book?

Are you an illustrator? I hope you’ll reach out to me. I’d like to see your work. 

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What to do when you are overloaded with help

I’m not talking about help with the laundry or dishes. I’m all for lots of help with that stuff. LOLBitmoji Image Jean Cogdell doing housework

But, if like me, your inbox is flooded with helpful tips and suggestions intended to improve your writing skills, you may be experiencing information overload.overloaded with emails

Between family, friends (web and local), two WIP books, my blog and reading all of you wonderful writers and bloggers, I sometimes feel my life is roaring out of control, burning up like a meteor falling to earth. Meteor falling to earth

Thanks go to JORDAN PETERS for a terrific piece about avoiding information overload and get those blogs written.

Information Overload: Avoid It Like The Plague

For me, I sometimes need to step back and take a break. And try to remove the sheer panic I feel at never meeting my goals.

Bitmoji Image Jean Cogdell Life is hardSome days there is too much to do and too little time. I know, I know some of you-all are super organized. Wish I was. But alas, I’m not.

However, Jordan did help with a few suggestions on how to keep your blog going. Now if I could just figure out how to keep the rest of my life going in the right direction.

What I want to know is what overwhelms you?

Is it your job, house, family, blogging, emails or all of them?

For me, it is all!

Tell me, how do you balance everything?

How do you avoid burnout?

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How do you kill a dream?

Dreams rarely die in a single moment.

No, most dreams die slowly, until like smoke, they drift away.

I do not have a green thumb. My house is where plants come to die. I forget to water, feed or give them the correct amount of sunlight. In other words, I fail to give a plant the attention it needs to thrive.

Lack of attention will kill a dream

That’s how a story dies too. The holidays sidelined my writing. I set aside my WIP to cook, clean and get ready for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving passed and so did another week. Now Christmas is upon us and next will be New Years.

A couple of days will soon turn into a couple of months. And here I sit. My muse is still whispering in my ear and my characters haunting my sleep. So, no excuse except I dropped my habit of writing every day. More fun to shop for gifts, eat, binge watch holiday movies or curl up with a good book in front of a roaring fire. Sigh…

Quite, reading a good book

Habits are hard to start but easy to break.

Life gets in our way and we stop writing. How to avoid the holidays sidelining your dream of finishing that novel?

  • Steal a few minutes to write just 50 words.
  • Do a quick brain dump of ideas. (I like to use colored sticky notes.)
  • Organize those ideas.
  • Write. Write every day.  If you’re like me, those 50 words will turn into 100 and then 1000 words. Soon you’re writing habit will return.

Sometimes a break from writing is unavoidable and necessary. No one wants to experience burn out. But as with all things in life, moderation is the key.

Don’t let your writing break kill your dream of becoming an author. 

Keep writing.

Want to read more inspiration on getting back in the writing? Click and read the links below.

Does your writing get sidelined by the holidays?

How do you keep your writing momentum?

Do you write every day, even throughout the holidays?

How often and for how long do you take a break from writing?

 

How to Keep Writing Day After Day Without Quitting (Even When You Don’t Feel Like It) By Ayodeji Awosika

 This is What Happens When You Take a Break from Writing By Lindsey Lazarte

Taking a Break from Writing By Jennifer Ellis

3 Reasons You Should Take a Break From Your Writing by Emily Wenstrom

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Do you want to write interesting dialog?

Even when your characters are a bit long-winded?

Well, thanks to Lisa Hall Wilson, I’ve got a few good tips that might help.

Adding beats to your dialog keeps the pace moving. Below are some of her suggestions to get the beats right and keep your reader engaged.

Make every beat count in a story.

  • Show what the character is doing as they speak.
    • Rocking
    • Walking
    • Picking at a thread, twirling hair…
  • Use tone.
    • Soft, loud, hateful…
  • Show how the character is feeling about what is being said.
    • Sad, thoughtful, tense…
  • Show the actions of other characters and ambient noises
    • A minor character walking away, clinching fists…
    • Strangers in the area
    • dishes clinking
    • People singing, arguing…
  • Internal dialogue
    • But, word of caution- don’t overuse or the action will slow down.
  • Avoid too much stage direction with dialogue
    • You don’t want the reader simply observing the scene taking place, like someone in a movie theatre.

Above all –

write beats that move the story forward and engage the reader.

Read more of Lisa’s suggestions for writing great dialogue at this link.

How To Use Beats To Keep Long Dialogue Passages Interesting Even If There’s No Action by 

Writers, what do you think?

Do you write a lot of beats in dialogue?

Get any good ideas for your current work in progress?

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