Posted by: nancyisanders | April 21, 2010

NaPiBoWriWee: Brainstorm Ideas

It’s fun to get all psyched up for the second annual National Picture Book Writers Week (NaPiBoWriWee) that’s taking place from May 1 through May 7. It’s all happening at Paula Yoo’s blog, Write Like You Mean It.

As I’m getting ready for the dash to the finish line, I’m brainstorming ideas. You can, too!

What am I doing to gather ideas for the seven picture books I’m going to write in seven days? I’m looking in two places: My own idea files and reading current published picture books.

First I’m gathering notes on which exact topics I’d like to write about as I read picture books and browse through my idea files where I stuff ideas that come to me at random times throughout my days.

Also, I’m giving myself some room to survive the craziness. How? I’m including a Plan B. If I start getting burned out or an unexpected situation arises, I’m gathering ideas to write a couple of EXTREME SIMPLE picture books.

For instance, last year I found out last minute about the event so I was in the middle of a hectic writing schedule already. Since I didn’t want to miss out on this super exciting event, for a couple of the days I wrote board books, the simplest and most basic type of picture book, based on predictable plot patterns. (What’s a predictable plot pattern? I’ll give you a list of predictable plot patterns on my next post so you can use these time-saving tricks, too!)

I chose to do a retelling of a simple nursery rhyme: Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.

Here’s one of the picture books I wrote last year on a day when it was crazier than a zoo at my house. On your busiest days this upcoming week of May 1 through 7, don’t give up! Just write a simple story with a predictable plot pattern like this:

Five Little Dolphins
An Underwater Counting Rhyme
By Nancy I. Sanders

Five little dolphins jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more dolphins jumping on the bed!”

Four little star fish jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more star fish jumping on the bed!”

Three little sea lions jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more turtles jumping on the bed!”

Two little turtles jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more sand sharks jumping on the bed!”

One little seahorse jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more seahorses jumping on the bed!”


Responses

  1. Hi Nancy!

    Thanks for your ideas. I’m still considering this and have been brainstorming, too. Did anything become of the 7 pic books you wrote last year during this time?

    ~Tina

    • I’ve worked on several of them and submitted one of them to agents…some of them I think have potential and hope to start submitting them, too! -Nancy

  2. Great ideas, I am planning too. It should be fun.


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