Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 8th -- "Milepost" 8

Another tip from my last PB marathon:

After each writing session I quickly evaluated the story and jotted down what seemed to work or not work.  This routine helped quiet my inner critic (if she’d caught up to me somehow).  It kept my perfectionism in check, because instead of fussing over a problem I made a note, moved on, and stayed energized.   And later these notes were invaluable when I revisited the story after the marathon.  

Here’re some examples of my comments:

“Is character annoyingly sweet?  Tone it down.”
“Poodle or Golden Retriever?”
“Needs one more scene before resolution.”
“Ending works.”
“Jazz it up!  A tad boring.”
“Logical step missing.  Revisit sequencing.”
“Is this just a one-line joke or a full story?"

Hopefully this tip will help lighten your step!

BTW—one marathoner may transform his marathon into a triathlon.  Whoa!  He blogged about it on Day 7 here:   http://www.timmccanna.com/

Story Starters
Food from a kid's perspective:
polite dinner at a formal restaurant
surprise breakfast for mom
juicy peach
sprinkles on a cupcake
slippery, buttery corn-on-the-cob
soggy cereal
disastrously torched or perfectly roasted marshmallow

Happy writing (or snacking!) 


  1. Hi, Lora and Jean! LOVE these tips. I could have put them to good use yesterday when I kept stopping, so I am thrilled to have them now for future use <3
    I'm going to chew on your story starters for tomorrow (LOL)
    Here's my update for Day 8:

  2. I don't see my blog listed but I am keeping up. Number 8 before midnight tonight! So far it is pretty sappy.....

  3. One good reason to use ball point pen or pencil, if you are not at the computer to write your pb---felt pen, like the one I used disappears if you happen to drop your sheet of paper with your beautiful story in a puddle of water. Ack! Rewriting, here we go.

  4. I mentioned the marathon on my blog post at TeachingAuthors today. I'm cheering you all on!

  5. This is sad, but I just found this today! Is it too late to join you all? Maybe I can work on my ideas from PiBoIdMo last November. : )

  6. Email us at writers at picturebookmarathon.org and we'll add you to our PB2012 file!

    In the meantime, enjoy the blog and cheer us on from the sidelines!


  7. Oh it would be hard to go through these and rip them up right now for me. I don't own enough red ink...I'll leave that for March. How many people out there are writing and illustrating a picture for each picture book idea? I'm having a hard time doing the illustration work.