Thursday, 15 November 2012

Setting a Challenge

I teach a distance learning course How to Write A Picture Book for Women On Writing (do take a look it's a great site and eZine) and they sent me a link for Picture Book Ideas Month.

The concept is to come up with 30 ideas for picture books over a 30 day period. Thankfully those who take part don't have to complete 30 manuscripts in 30 days or even write a potential best-seller. You simply have to come up with an idea that can be used in a picture book. Perhaps a title, a character, an idea based on something you overheard or a fact. The idea was devised by children's author Tara Lazar and is meant to 'exercise' your writing muscle and create a pot of ideas you can plunder when you need to.       

I must admit having to coming up with 30 new ideas over a 30 day period scared me and excited me. I debated for a week or so if I should take part but finally took the plunge. I'm now 14 days into the exercise and have surprised myself by coming up with a new idea each day. So far I have ideas that involve something to do with:
  • A young hare (inspired by a book written by Dennis Hamley called 'Hares Choice' - well worth a read)
  • An apprentice fairy who loses her powers (inspired by a news piece about apprenticeships)    
  • An old dog being taught new tricks by a younger dog (inspired by my dogs new best friend, who is six years younger than her)
I'm hopeful by the end of the exercise I'll have 30 ideas scribbled down. I realise some will never become a manuscript and those that do may never be published. However I'm enjoying the process and if I get just one published title based on one of the ideas generated I'll be a very happy author.

Lynne Garner
I'm also part of the blogging team on:


Rosalind Adam said...

There are so many Blog Challenges around these days but I must admit that this is one of the better ones. I heard about it last week and will do it for the remaining three weeks. Isn't it amazing how ideas can be generated by a challenge like this.

Paeony Lewis said...

External pressure and 'doing stuff together' are great motivators. Plus it's lovely to see something that raises the profile of picture books. Hope the ideas keep coming, Lynne.

Catherine said...

I am surprised at how much more aware I am of daily events, conversations (especially with small children) and my surroundings to give me inspiration. PiBoIdMo is a great idea and so far I'm on schedule!
Wishing all PiBoIdMo writers and illustrators a great November.

Jane Clarke said...

Yes, PiBoIdMO is a great motivation to to jot down ideas that may or may not turn into something - I'm enjoying participating in it.

Abie Longstaff said...

I've never done one of these challenges, but your post on it, and Juliet Clare Bell's from a few weeks ago, have both really got me thinking. I like the way you have each come up with a load of ideas, some of which may well turn into stories one day. I might have a go next year.