February's Inspirational Quote

"One Hour at a Time"
~ Laurie Wallmark.

Dear Laurie,
You might not recall saying this and perhaps I won't remember the specifics but you are our inspiration for the rest of February and maybe even March.

You and I were on the phone and talking about how hard it is to write a novel and as usual I was whining and feeling sorry for my long-a$$ journey. And you told me about how you were working and how busy you were so you wrote your novel one hour at a time. Astounded I said, "You wrote your novel one hour at a time?" And you said, "Yup." And I thought, "Wow... ... ..."

Often times we think we need - or I think I need - huge chunks of time set aside so I can write. Do you do that too? What if we gave ourselves one hour of each day? If it turns into two, well then fine, but if not, at least you still had your One Hour at a Time. So that is the motto of the month, thanks to ours truly, Laurie Wallmark.

We love you, Laurie!

Friday, February 15, 2008

I Agree With SCBWI Book Recommendation

In the SCBWI Nov/Dec 2007 Bulletin, the Book Review section highly recommended the series, "How to Write a Children's Picture Book," by Eve Heidi Bine-Stock. I purchased "Volume I: Structure," read it, and have since used it to write one story and begin another. I simply followed the universal structure (the Symmetrical Picture Storybook Paradigm) outlined in the book -- the blueprint for most picture books.

The paradigm helped me to lay out my 3-act structure, allowing me to see my story from beginning to end prior to writing it. The book states that "you must have a thorough grasp of its (your story's) structure if you wish your book to succeed." What makes this book different from all the other "how-to" books out there? It claims to be the first book to thoroughly investigate this classic structure. It also breaks down tried and true picture book favorites to help you understand how the paradigm works.

Prior to explaining the paradigm, the book offers this minimalist exercise. Try it to jumpstart your next story idea.

Action (or problem):

Based on my high satisfaction with Volume I, I will go on to read Volumes II (Word, Sentence, Scene, Story) and III (Figures of Speech).

Patricia Koelmel


Sheri said...

That's great. I can't wait for you to share the other volumes with us. I have to add also for those novel writers out there, the simple outlining tool you mentioned in volume I is useful for us too. I would use this per chapter and in fact I do. I think of each chapter as its own mini-arc within the larger arc of my story. Each chapter should have a problem, reaction, and resolution.

Thanks Pat!

LEEZY said...

This is cool, thanks for sharing Pat.

There are only a handful of books like this for illustrators, I wish there were more.

Learning how to visually pace a book is fundamental, especially for Picture Books (hence the term 'picture' book!), yet I often hear from ADs (art directors) that so many dummies fail, for lack of being able to break a story down into pictures for a 32-page book.

I'm sure the basics structures in this volume could somehow apply to illustrations, too Pat. What do you think?

Patricia said...

Thanks, Leeza!

I've been concentrating so much more on writing verses illustrating that I didn't even think about the fact that this book could also be helpful to illustrators.

Of course, it would ... especially for someone (like you) who already has great knowledge in the field.

Karen Wyman said...

Many thanks to SCBWI member Nancy I. Sanders for her book review. After reading her review, I purchased Volumes I,II and III as excellent guides for writing children's books.

Pat had mentioned Volume I:Structure in her comment. The author uses children's classics such as Corduroy, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Lyle,Lyle, Crocodile and many others as part of her guide for this step-by-step explanation.

Volume II:Word, Sentence, Scene, Story focuses on word choice, sentence structure, beginning and ending a scene and the strategy for creating a successful story.

Volume III:Figures of Speech guides writers through the process of developing proper language while giving meaning to your story for the appropriate audience.

I am thrilled to now have these books as a part of my writing references!