Dealing with fear in this awesome free telesummit put together by Kathy Scheiern
As creatives, whenever we look at that blank page, whenever we’re making decisions on where to take a character, whenever we submit our work or attend a conference, we’re facing fear. Most of us are sensitive types, many come from some kind of trauma, so facing fear is an important topic for us just as it is for many of the characters in our plot-driven stories. In my interview I talk about my background in a way that I rarely do and share a fear-busting lesson from the Hero’s Art Journey, which is my gift for the telesummit participants. There are lots of other free pressies there as well, so I hope that you’ll check it out here.
Character Driving Plot
When you write a regular blog, you're constantly wondering... what can I write about that will be really helpful for my people. So in honor of our upcoming Craft and Business of Writing Picture Books course, I decided to do a series writing about the main elements of writing plot-driven children’s books that we'll be going into in the course on a much deeper level. But here they are:
4. Voice and Language
In the following months I’m going to write about each of these, starting with character. So here goes:
How well you know your characters makes a big difference in how well you write them. Physical descriptions (kept to a minimum in picture books) and shown through actions e.g., instead of “she was short” – “Angie was tired of standing on her tip toes to hug her friends” are only part of the picture.
It’s your main character(s) hopes, fears, greatest desires that really drive the story or plot. Whatever your main character’s greatest fear is–that’s what they must face and overcome.
Whoever their greatest enemy is–that’s who they must vanquish or friend.
Whatever their greatest desire–that’s what they must strive towards and attain either in that book or one of the following books if it’s a series or attain if it’s a picture book.
Their challenges become assets.
Whoever their friends are, these are either allies on the journey, or characters that they have conflict with, or characters that they must save in one way or another.
The more you know your characters, the better that you can write them. Even if you never use most of the stuff that you know about them, your character will still come across stronger for that knowledge. Being a visual person, I like doing mind maps. So here’s one that I did for one of my stories that I’m sharing with you guys as well as a downloadable blank version that you can use with your own work. Let me know if you find it helpful.
Yours in children’s book love,
Mira Reisberg has helped MANY authors and illustrators get published. She has worn just about every hat in the industry including art director, editor, illustrator and author, and literary agent. Mira holds a PhD in Education and Cultural Studies with a focus on children's literature. She is also an award-winning children's book illustrator and writer. Watch for the upcoming Craft and Business of Writing Children's Picture Books, which she will be co-teaching with the fabulous Kelly Delaney, an acquiring assistant editor at Random House/Knopf!
We are so excited to be mixing things up at the Children's Book Academy. Mondays with Mandy or Mira is now the Blogfish!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays will feature award-winning former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature reading specialist and MFA in creative writing graduate Mandy Yates has been published multiple times in Highlights Magazine.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature the great Christine Taylor-Butler who has published over 70 award-winning fiction and non-fiction and nonfiction books including the acclaimed new middle grade series - The Lost Tribes.
And 5th Mondays will feature will feature the fabulous Carl Angel, award-winning multi-published Illustrator and graphic designer.
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