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7 Children’s Picture Book Manuscripts in 7 Days

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I’m taking the 7 in 7 picture book challenge.

Report on 7 in 7 for the first week of May, 2009

  1. May 7
  2. May 6
  3. Note: This is a note of general frustration with writing 7 picture books in 7 days. I want to dig in and revise, which I do endlessly on picture books. Instead, I have to come up with a new draft! ARGH!

    Actually, 7 days may be about right: only two more days to scribble out first drafts, and the rest of the year to revise.

  4. May 5: A Cumulative Story. After tossing out lots of ideas, I finally settled on a cumulative story much like This is the House that Jack Built. It’s an idea I had toyed with before and was fun to take it through all the stages.
  5. May 4: Delaware and Miriam. OK. This is getting hard! Picture books are short, yes, but that doesn’t mean they are easy to write. I’ve never written one in less than three days of intensive, obsessive work.

    I did get a draft done last night. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. But it’s no where near fully explored, much less refined. Still, just to get a draft done, I was pleased.

    I think the main problem is characterization. Why would this character do this? My problem is that I tend to write generic characters in my picture books and I’m really struggling to do more in such a short time frame.

  6. May 3: At the End of the Rainbow. I didn’t even start until 7 pm because I went to church, then did accounting. But I managed to finish a full draft of this story and am excited to see how it sounds after a couple days of cooling off. The title will change, but it’s a good working title. 1295 words. Yes, I’m writing long, but I can cut.
  7. May 2: ABC book. OK, so it’s one I had half-way started before and abandoned because I had blanks for about six letters. All I did today was fill in the rest of the letters, add more options to the letters I had and did general research and clean up. But I now have something for each letter. Yes, two or three are shaky. But it’s progress and I’m counting it.
  8. May 1: Violet Ivy’s Button Eyes. 1128 words.

Learn to Write Picture Books: Darcy Pattison’s Free Video Course


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