Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Reading various opines on writing series and sequels today, and coincidently I am writing a continued pb story based on a character book I am subbing.
Husband asks why....you crazy woman? You haven't sold the first yet (errr...grrr...I haven't subbed it too much either...just a little)
No, I am not a Neanderthal. I have an idea. I like it and I want to work on it. And then maybe another one. Maybe I am crazy. Maybe no one will buy the first. But I wouldn't write it if I didn't feel another story growing from the first. I am keeping common elements and shifting others. And reading PB series books that work and trying to figure out why.
And doing a few dummies of other stories, and illustrations, and writing others.
Call me crazy. Call me nuts. But I wouldn't be doing this at all if I were totally sane. Passion and a bit of crazy (no, gumption!) make a happy writer/illusrator.
Plus, I like to work on different things at once or else I get tunnel vision. Never liked going through tunnels.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I've met and spoken to many writers, illustrators and editors over the years trying to find myself in my own work and what I have found is:
There seems to be an internal responder and an external responder (here comes the sociologist in me). What I mean is some folks look for and react to the inner feelings of the work at hand and some look for and react to the outer/external.
I am a bit of both but I would say that the internal wins out. And I have noticed that books that have the internal are my favorites.
Now I am going to lay on the couch and talk to my shrink.
Back to the morning writing.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
To the wannabes:
"I am a graphic designer who wants to illustrate picture books."
"I am a portraitist. I am ready to start illustrations for a picture book."
"Look at my lovely landscapes. I have illustrated a picture book called Arborvity Visits The Arboretum. I wrote it too. They say you can lead a horticulturalist to a swamp but you can't make her drink. (Or maybe it was you can't make her think...whatever...you can't make her do anything)."
"My pet pictures lend themselves to storytelling. They are anatomically correct. You can tell the males from the females...look see!!! And they are pristinely rendered. A hair in every place."
(Maybe it should be facial hair and body language...tattoos for the older kids?)
Illustrating (and writing picture books) is a required skill (and if paired with talent, inspiration and innovation...a gift). Beautiful doesn't count (at least not all by itself).
VISUAL STORYTELLING....dah dah ta da dah daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! :)
FACIAL EXPRESSION AND BODY LANGUAGE (she sank to the floor when her teddy bear lost his squeak)
KNOWING THE AGE OF YOUR READER AND REMEMBERING CHILDHOOD, SENSITIVITY (I am never, ever cleaning my room.... and btw that trait seems to linger into adulthood.)
ACTION, INTERACTION, REACTION WITH CHARACTERS...a smirk often says more than a smile.
PACING...take chances here...don't be afraid...(otherwise you'll be formulaic). I am a firm believer in taking chances after you've memorized the rules.
INSPIRATION...this comes from the unique you and only you...find it and nurture it and keep it going from book to book.
INNOVATION...this also comes from the unique you and only you....find it and nurture it and keep it going from book to book.
ORIGINALITY...again same as above.
UNIVERSALITY...think about what everyone has felt, experienced or somehow can relate to in your theme(s)
ENERGY... equals movement, viiiiiiiiigor, happiness, angst, tensiiiiiiiiiiiiion, fear, hope, bravery all with a swiiiiiiiiiiiiift kick in the pants
BRAVERY is fear, will, confrontation and just doing it.
THE ABILITY TO REACH YOUR READER (read everything here)
TIMELESSNESS is thinking about the stories you've read over and over again every year. They never become stale or campy, less funny or sad etc. and they grab you in the gut. They often have something to say but say it subtly. And their plots and/or themes are always clever and interesting. The ideas and messages never fade. (Think "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" Think Chicago's timeless modern music. You hear it today and and it still sounds as good as when they played it originally. I DON' CARE ABOUT TIME)
INTERACTIVENESS (is that a word ?....you look it up.) Readers love to participate somehow. How are you going to do it?
VOICE to me is the most subjective part of writing. It is like showing someone a group of prom dresses and launching in as to why you love this one and then everyone immediately is drawn to the next rack. But if you succeed at the above items you will find a hearty group of fans. So make you voice come through with the help of the above items if that makes any sense.
and enjoy yourself while you create...that might be the most important thing...enjoy the process!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
1. An inspired concept
2. Larger than life characters
3. A high-stake story
4. A deeply felt theme
5. A vivid setting
Check, check, check, check, check, check. (I hope, hope, hope, hope, hope and hope.)
(I lifted this from an agent interview at 2009 SCBWI LA blog) She talked about novels but I think this can apply to pbs as well.) I am going to add an original presentation.
And the stakes only have to be high and of uttermost importance to the protagonist.
There can be more than one theme. I say themes that we all can relate to and have experienced.
'Inspired concept' is key. Being inspired in writing and illustration is critical. No 'so what' allowed.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Write for them with hope and your hope will grow.
Write for them with wisdom and you will become wiser.
And write for them like you are their friend and they will become your friends.
And have fun. :)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
My son's drum teacher, musician extra-ordinaire, beautiful songwriter, wild performer and great friend has been introduced to my cuz, Surfer Stu, LA screenplay music editor, by meeeeeee.
You go Robbie!! You are going to make it. You are too good.
I love to help great talent along the crappy journey of gettin out thar.
Connections, connections, connections