To be nobody but yourself in a world
which is doing its best, night and day,
to make you everybody else means
to fight the hardest battle which any human
being can fight; and never stop fighting.
Do you ever feel like you’re losing your voice in your writing? That your writing’s starting to sound like everything else out there? Been there, done that. It’s a constant struggle to ignore all the voices, both real and internal, that are telling you that you have to do it this way or that way, or you won’t sell anything. It’s easy to let those voices freeze you up so that you can’t get any word out, copycat or not. Sometimes I just yell at them to go away and just let me write! Of course I yell in my head… Usually…
Well for once tonight I didn’t need to yell at the voices: for once they were silent. Or maybe they were just drowned out by the semi-noisiness of my favorite pub. Whichever, I was able to take today’s PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) idea and turn it into a fully-fleshed first draft of a picture book. Oh it’s too long but like I said, it’s a first draft.
More, it’s the first time I wrote a picture book with the 32-page picture book format in mind. I even drafted a little map of all 32 pages (the picture here only shows some of those pages) to keep it more immediately in my head as I wrote.
It helped me stay focused on the page turns within the story (check out Darcy Pattison’s article on page turns for some great tips on how to do these successfully). Like I said, I went way over, but I was aware of it and aware by how much. I’ve got the whole shape of the store; I just need to trim it down and pretty it up now.
I don’t know if the rest of PiBoIdMo will hold any other fantastic surprises as this day did, but this was enough. And I did come up with some other story ideas that will be workable – I think – into Middle Grade novels, if not Picture Books so I’m more than happy with my first time doing the PiBoIdMo challenge.
Well, hope your writing’s swimming – or chunking – along and that you’re having a restful post-Thanksgiving evening (for those in the US).
If you took yesterday off, well you know what I’m going to say: Get back to work!
Nite, all, and happy writing.