I am super excited. Everyone knows what today is… HALLOWEEN.
BUT did you also know that today is also known as PiBoIdMo EVE??? Huh, huh? Did ya? Huh?
Yes, it is a picture book writers favorite time of the year…
NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL PICTURE BOOK MONTH
PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Ideas Month)
Can you say, “WooooooHooooo!”
I knew you could! ;0)
What you have never heard of PiBoIdMo? Well, lucky you. I happen to have a recent interview with the fabulous, and creator of PiBoIdMo,…
I wanted to give your great idea some exposure and a great shout out. I have participated in PiBoIdMo for three years! YAY.
Now some of my readers may not know what PiBoIdMo is though. Would you like to give a little background?
PiBoIdMo stands for Picture Book Idea Month. It’s a November writing challenge specifically for picture book writers. Participants must create 30 new picture book concepts in 30 days. During the event, authors and illustrators guest blog about creativity to help the participants along on the journey. It’s a daily dose of inspiration.
That’s great concept. I know, as a writer, it is challenging to come up with ideas. 30 ideas in one month is a lot, but what a goal. Sometimes outside sources help. I like the thought of getting guest bloggers for inspiration. What amount of ideas do you think ever get turned into actually stories lines worth pursuing?
Well, I once heard that for every 20 ideas, you get ONE really GREAT idea. But I think that being immersed in this exercise, surrounded by a supportive community, shifts the brain into idea-overdrive. I’ve yet to complete the challenge myself, but I always seem to get at least 3 or 4 ideas worth pursuing.
I know you just celebrated the release of your book, THE MONSTORE! Congrats, btw. Was this one idea that has come from the challenge?
I don’t think so, although I can’t remember for sure anymore! It could have been from the first year I did it on my own and not on the blog, in 2008. I got the idea from the title, smooshing the words “monster” and “store” together. I had the idea for months before I sat down to write it. Sometimes ideas must marinate in my head a while before I’ll feel inspired to write. Other times I get an idea and BAM! I’ve got to start writing right away!
I haven’t gotten 30 ideas yet either on the years I have participated. I am going to make an effort to do that this year though. How would you suggest writers to approach the challenge?
With an open mind. Don’t get stressed out. Just feel free to explore. Change up your daily routine. Look at the world around you in a different way, from a new perspective. Be child-like. Keep a notebook with you at all times because you never know when an idea will strike. You may have no ideas for several days and then spend a prolific week of creating non-stop picture book concepts. And my best suggestion is to simply have fun!
I’m hoping to have fun and let the ideas roll. I know what you are saying about having to let an idea sit though. I waiting nine months for a story to come out right! How long have you ever had to let an idea marinate? And how do you keep that idea going and not loose or forget it?||
Well, I have an idea from four years ago that has never come to fruition. The problem is that I already wrote the first line–and it rhymes. But I don’t write rhyming picture books! Every time I’ve tried to restart the story, that rhyming line pops up. I can’t get it out of my head and yet can’t go forward with the story in rhyme. I’m almost ready to try again…
Are there any tips you would like to give? Words of wisdom?
In the beginning, just write. Don’t worry about rules or length or anything else. Just get your story down. Play with the words. Make them your friends.
Then write another story. And another. And a few more.
When you’ve written a lot of stories, then go get yourself educated about the business of publishing.
That’s how you can learn to mesh your style with what editors want.
Write first. Ask questions later.
Tara Lazar is a children’s book author, mother, foodie and boogeyman assassin (currently booked at 3am nightly).
Her debut picture book, THE MONSTORE, is now available since June 2013 from Aladdin/Simon & Schuster. I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK follows from Aladdin in 2014, with LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD skating your way via Random House Children’s in Fall 2015.
Zip on over to Tara’s website to learn more about her and how you can participate in this years PiBoIdMo: