Sunday, July 10, 2005

It Worked! It worked!

It worked! I've been struggling for weeks to write a picture book. I'd write a little, decide it was stupid, start something new, delete it...and worse, sit there not writing because I couldn't think the plot through in my head.

Today, following the advice of my blogging friends, I planted my hiney in a chair. When I couldn't think of a name or a specfic task for my character, I typed xxxx. Then, I kept right on going, writing what came next. I went through five revisions of the same idea (plus one that I didn't feel like writing now). I hate to revise, so that alone is significant.

I can't write unless I know what's going to happen, and I hate to waste my time writing detailed descriptions and working out the alliteration that I love so much, only to get a page or two into it and find out that the story doesn't work. I also know that I need to write to get the idea worked out. I often get all the way to the end and dig up the best sentence that I then use to tie everything together. The gem that makes the whole thing work.

I need both: I need to write to the end to find the ideas and I need to have a road map in order to begin. I hope I've found the solution...

Today, I sat here for a few hours, reworking the plot and who the main character would be. As I said, I typed up five versions (not including the ones I didn't let out of my head to play on the paper). I didn't get detailed; it was more like brainstorming with myself to work on the possibilities. A crazy thing happened: I have an outline--characters, a setting, a plot, growth. YEA! I'd never really thought of picture books as having outlines, but this one does.

I can't wait to get back here tonight to add in the details and make my story come to life.

4 Comments:

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Anastasia said...

Kim writes: "I need both: I need to write to the end to find the ideas and I need to have a road map in order to begin. I hope I've found the solution..."

This is how I write - I need a map AND I figure it out as I write it. I'm still doing both - 70 books later! :-) Anastasia

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Thats great to hear Kim...I think I also write like that - with the map, and allowing myself to abandon it. I usually end up spinning my tires without a map, and if I stick to close to the map - I don't discover those gems that emerge when I start wandering....amazing! Good luck to you!!

 
At 8:10 PM, Blogger Kim said...

Anastasia and Heather,

Thanks for responding. It's one of those crazy processes I've probably heard someone mention before, but I had to figure it out on my own. Lots of things are starting to click like that for me!

 
At 7:00 AM, Blogger Susan Taylor Brown said...

yeah for Kim! Sounds like great progress for you. Figuring out how we write best is always empowering too.
Susan

 

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