Friday, July 31, 2009

What's new?

I haven't contacted an agent.


I think the problem with writing is that it takes quite a bit of time in itself. Actually looking for representation beyond that can be sort of tough to fit in. Take heart and know that at least I'm doing some research on agents. (Like anyone but me cares anyway.) Finding the right agent is a little like finding the right shoe, except that it's more of a mutual agreement between the foot and the shoe. It has to be the right fit for both.

In the mean time, I'm doing a self-study course on the book Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul, and I'm learning a lot. The latest, which has slowed me down in writing but should help eventually, is that character sketches are extremely important, even for picture books. If you don't know your character, you cannot write about him or her effectively. He will come off as shallow as a sidewalk puddle, and then where will you be? STUCK IN THE SLUSH PILE OF DESPAIR!

So I'm on something like rewrite 40 of Cluck Lays an Egg, but this time I'm going to explore the inner workings of Cluck. Who is Cluck? What are her likes and dislikes? How does Cluck think? When I'm done I'll give character treatments to my other manuscripts too, even though I feel happy with some of them already.

Here's a plug for Ann Whitford Paul. Her book is informative and insightful. Top notch and you can't get by without it if you're a picture book writer. And like many books on writing for a specific genre, the wisdom bleeds over and works in other genres also. Since it's set up like a class, you have writing assignments (thus the character sketch of Cluck) and reading assignments (one of the many picture books she recommends) at the end of each chapter. School was never so much fun! It's definitely my favorite writing book of the year.


  1. Sounds much more fun than chemistry. Think it would work with plays too?

  2. Sounds like you are having a productive weekend! And, I really hope that Cluck comes alive for you!!!! I didn't make my deadline. Oh well. Can't pull it out of the oven half-baked!