Category Archives: Writing Advice

Quotation Inspiration: Writer’s Block

I know lots of writers who suffer from writer’s block. I like Barbara Poelle’s creativity prompts in the Oct 2018 Writer’s Digest, including: “Take your favorite antagonist in any film or novel and write a scene where they are the … Continue reading

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Lyrical Language Lab…and Me!

As writers, we think a lot about words. Big words. Little words. Rhyming words. Vivid words. So many words! Everything we create depends on them. But sometimes the right words are elusive. They aren’t leading to the sound or rhythm … Continue reading

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How to Write a Nonfiction Picture Book: Step 16: Circle Back

Step 16: Circle Back It’s no coincidence that these last three steps have “back” in them. Backmatter, feedback, and circling back are all important steps in this project. So, you’ve now gone through all the steps of writing a nonfiction … Continue reading

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How to Write a Nonfiction Picture Book: Step 15: Get Feedback

Step 15: Get Feedback At some point along the path of writing your nonfiction picture book, you will need to get feedback. Perhaps at many points. My writing group, the Wordsmiths, meets monthly, and as we pass out our manuscripts, … Continue reading

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How to Write a Nonfiction Picture Book: Step 14: Come On Back(matter)

Hi, writer friends. I made it to Round 3 of Madness Poetry, where I had to write a poem for kids including the word “parlance.” Yeah. Anyway, voting is live, and if you’d go here to read the poems by … Continue reading

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How to Write a Nonfiction Picture Book: Step 13: Storyboard It

Step 12: Storyboard It By this time, you hopefully have a draft that is a reasonable word count and feels like the right structure for your book. Now it’s time to storyboard. This is also called dummying out a story. … Continue reading

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How to Write a Nonfiction Picture Book: Step 12: Cut It! The Long and Winding Read

Here’s something kind of funny. Back in the early stages of this process, I was brainstorming possible angles for writing a picture book about trucks or truckers. Not to really do it, but in order to share examples of how … Continue reading

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How to Write a Nonfiction Picture Book: Step 11: Read-aloud-ability: Imagine Storytime

An important quality of picture books is that they are usually read aloud to kids. Some things that can give a book more read-aloud appeal are: its interactive potential: Are there questions the listener might answer? Is there a repeated … Continue reading

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How to Write a Nonfiction Picture Book: Step 10: Use Your Inside Voice

Another aspect of your manuscript to think about is voice. What is the tone of your manuscript? Nonfiction is not neutral. It is not voiceless. It is not boring. Look again at the effect you’re aiming for. For instance, if … Continue reading

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How to Write a Nonfiction Picture Book: Step 9: Find the Arc

From here on out, almost everything is about taking that draft and making it better. (Or at some point, perhaps it will be about throwing that approach out and doing a new first draft with a whole new structure, angle, … Continue reading

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