Apr 12, 2013

The Long Road Ahead

I'm back in school now!  Well, the University de Jessica.  Ha!  What I mean is, I am studying children's picture books.  I need to know what is on the market now.

Yesterday, I finally made it to the library to get my library card.  Now, I could have skipped the library and went straight for studying at Barnes and Noble, but that gets expensive.  Not to mention I get tempted by Starbucks.

I felt thrilled to be in the library and have my multicolored library card in my hand.

Before I visited the library, I made a list of books which had caught my interest.  I tried to make a rule for myself and only study books published within the past couple of years.  This way, I can stay focused on what publishers want now.   Each of the five books I checked out was published in 2012, and here are a few notes I made while studying:

  • You can start a sentence with "And". (I'll wait while you pick your jaw up off the floor.)
  • Don't use the same verb in back-to-back sentences.  If you character is searching for something, try to find different words that mean to search, and use them.  Then, your young reader will have a collection of words that all mean to look.
  • Don't stereotype.  Your female MC doesn't have to like baby dolls and pink clothes.  Go against all stereotypes, it will leave the reader wondering what other different characteristic your MC has.
As I continue to read, I know I will notice more trends.  It's not as if I'll read the books only once.

On another note, I want to talk about the two giraffes.  The image is not really mine, it was inspired by Waui Design. It represents my mom and I.

In an earlier blog post I told you that my mom wanted me to write books, but I never thought about making that my career.  Well now, here I stand, writing each and every day, looking for inspiration, so my next picture book manuscript will take me all the way.

I know getting published will be hard, really hard, but I want it.  It's something I need now and I suppose many, many writers feel this way too. I want to get published for myself, but I want to do it for my mom, too.  Not that I am the center of her world, but I think it would bring a smile to her face.

So, until then, I will keep doing what I have to do.  I'll write, revise, read aloud, revise, revise, wait, revise, query and wait... until I finally hear the "yes" I am determined to hear.

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