Monday, 10 October 2016

Feeling a bit of a fraud - Lynne Garner

For the last few months, well to be honest most of 2016 I've felt a bit of a fraud by calling myself a picture book writer. I'd not written a story for at least six months if not longer and I've had any fiction published for an absolute age. Although I've had a minimum of two non-fiction features published every month.

However that recently changed, well the writing side of things at least.

I think my main issue had been my non-fiction writing had chased my picture book writing muse away. However over the last couple of weeks he or she has started to give me ideas again. Many of these ideas have come to me whilst looking at a photograph I had taken or whilst actually taking it.

For example last month whilst visiting Wellington Arch in London something must have clicked whilst reading some of the information boards. Because as I took the photograph below a little voice said, "what about.....?" The story idea generated already has a title and a very loose plot has made it to the 'yellow sticky note' stage. This is when I know a story has enough body for me to start writing it but I still have a few blanks to fill in.

Wellington Arch - London
During the same week I took the photograph below at a local visitor attraction. It not only gave me a few ideas for some non-fiction features it's also given me a idea for a new picture book story. This doesn't have a title and hasn't even made it to the 'yellow sticky note' stage yet but it's definitely keeping at least one brain cell busy.

Reflections of clouds in a very still stream -
didn't stay still for long as Tasha (my four legged friend) went paddling 
This last image shows Tasha with her summer collection of footballs (all found during July and August). Whilst taking this photograph a tiny, tiny seed of an idea planted itself. It's still waiting just under the soil but there is definitely movement and I expect germination to take place any time now.

The Tasha Collection  - Summer 2016 
Last but not least I've sketched out a story and even come up with a few sentences for some of the spreads. I can't include a picture because although there is one I don't own the copyright. Also I think it'll give to much about. And as Michelle Robinson wrote on the Picture Book Den just a couple of weeks ago, this story is not ready for sharing.

So thankfully as I write this post I no longer feel a fraud when I say I'm a picture book writer. My muse has returned and is now providing me with lots of ideas to work with.




Ann Turnbull said...

I love the photo of clouds in the stream. And what an amazing collection of footballs! Yes, there must be ideas here. Good luck, Lynne.

Michelle Robinson said...

That's one very busy dog. She is right to look proud. I have feelings like that sometimes, when I have non-writing phases. But then I remind myself that all phases contribute to the writing itself. Sometimes we need to do other things and let those ideas build and collide behind the scenes. It's funny how stories can creep up on us when we're not looking directly at them.

Jane Clarke said...

Yay! Glad to hear it Lynne, good luck! x

Lynne Garner said...

Many thanks

Lynne Garner said...

Many thanks - just need to find the time to write them all now.

Lynne Garner said...

Michelle - It's nice and not nice all at the same time to know someone else has the same feelings. I love the thought of the ideas building and colliding - I think that may have just given me another little idea based on my theatre days.

David McMullin said...

It's so nice when the muse returns. I love that your inspiration a came through photos. I may need to get out and snap a few myself this week - I could use a little kick start.

Pippa Goodhart said...

I don't think you COULD not write a picture book story again, Lynne. It's a mind set that might rest, but never totally goes to sleep. Good luck with those new ideas!

Lynne Garner said...

David it's worth a try you never know what will happen. None of the pictures I took were taken to inspire me. The first two were taken to record a visit whilst the one of Tasha was to record the footballs she'd found this summer, which was her most successful year to date.

Lynne Garner said...

Pippa I know what you mean. I find it frustrating when I don't have ideas for a story as I feel there is something missing if I don't have a picture book story I'm working on.