Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘ReFoReMo’

978-0981493800So far, this year, I’ve been taking a break and being kind to myself. Meanwhile, the Kid-Lit Writing Wisdom team members have been doing their own thing. I believe that in the future I will be offering periodic guest posts from wise authors and/or illustrators, so keep an eye out. Before I move on to talking about picture book structures, I want to mention that my book BUTTERFLY KISSES FOR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA is featured in the summer reading section of the recent County Line Magazine. There are a couple cool things about this nice surprise. First, they put me in the great company of two other Texas authors Rosie Pova and Jen Betton. Rosie’s book SUNDAY RAIN (illustrated by Amariah Rauscher) is featured and author/illustrator Jen Betton’s cute book HEDGEHOG NEEDS A HUG is featured. The other thing that surprised me about BUTTERFLY KISSES FOR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA is that out of all my books, they picked the one that has been around the longest. What I love about this is the fact that my first picture book has had such a long life. I believe it may be the top seller of all my books, even after all these years.

The message that I want to leave with you is that some books do have long lives. One never really knows what the future will bring for our precious babies. You can see the magazine feature here.

Sunday RainHedgehog needs a hug

Now I will move on to picture book structures.

PICTURE BOOK STRUCTURES

A few months back, someone inquired about my course ART OF ARC, asking if it covers the many different picture book structures. The answer is yes, but not extensively. There is certainly enough information and lists of mentor texts to get one very familiar with books that don’t fall into the traditional story structure. This is not to say that many of the different structures don’t still have an arc of some sort. Anyway, after that inquiry, I decided it might be nice if I could share a little bit about the various structures with you. The best and wisest way to do that is to share what others have already created. So here is a list of links where you can learn all about picture book structures.

Enjoy!

2016 ReFoReMo Day 5: TAMMI SAUER MODELS HOW-TO DO THE STRUCTURE STRUT (ReFoReMo is now March on with Mentor Texts)

http://www.carriecharleybrown.com/reforemo/reforemo-day-5-tammi-sauer-models-how-to-do-the-structure-strut

2012 PiBoIdMo Day 7: EVERY DAY TAMMI SAUER IS STRUCTURIN’ (PiBoIdMo is now Storystorm)

https://taralazar.com/2012/11/07/piboidmo-day-7-tammi-sauer/

2014 PiBoIdMo Day 11: TAMMI SAUER’S HOW TO “HOW TO”

https://taralazar.com/2014/11/11/piboidmo-day-11-tammi-sauer/

2021 Picture Book Builders PICK AND COMMIT: CHOOSING A PICTURE BOOK STRUCTURE by Pat Zietlow Miller

https://picturebookbuilders.com/2021/08/pick-and-commit-choosing-a-picture-book-structure/

2020 Writer Magazine: HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR PICTURE BOOKS FOR SUCCESS by Ryan G. Van Cleave

These tried-and-true structures can provide a blueprint for your picture book plot.

https://www.writermag.com/improve-your-writing/writing-for-young-readers/structure-your-picture-books/

2020 Writer’s Digest: 7 WAYS TO STRUCTURE YOUR PICTURE BOOK by Brian A. Klems

https://www.writersdigest.com/improve-my-writing/7-ways-to-structure-your-picture-book

Reading Rockets: STORY SKELETONS: TEACHING PLOT STRUCTURE WITH PICTURE BOOKS by Shutta Crum

https://www.readingrockets.org/article/story-skeletons-teaching-plot-structure-picture-books

Ms. Rosen Reads:  PICTURE BOOK PATTERNS (an extensive list of mentor texts for a variety of picture book structures)

https://msrosenreads.edublogs.org/read/picture-book-studies/picture-book-patterns/

2018 Mentor’s for Rent: HOW TO WRITE A NONFICTION PICTURE BOOK: STEP 6: STRUCTURE IT by Laura Purdie Salas

https://mentorsforrent.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/how-to-write-a-nonfiction-picture-book-step-6-structure-it/

Florida Writers Association: WRITING THE WORDLESS, OR ALMOST WORDLESS, PICTURE BOOK  by Shutta Crum

https://floridawriters.blog/writing-the-wordless-or-almost-wordless-picture-book/

2012 Kathy Temean’s Writing and Illustrating: WORDLESS PICTURE BOOKS

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/wordless-picture-books/

LINDA ASHMAN SHARES HER MANUSCRIPT FOR HER NEARLY WORDLESS PICTURE BOOK “RAIN”

An excellent demonstration of formatting a manuscript for a wordless or nearly wordless picture book.

https://lindaashman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/RAIN_Submission.pdf

I hope some of this information helps you with possibly finding a new and interesting path for some of your picture book ideas.

If you missed the “Kid-Lit Writing Wisdom” posts, you can find them all here. Together, these posts are a free course in kid-lit writing.

Read Full Post »

ValentinyLast month, I participated in Susanna Hill’s Valentine’s Day writing contest. I was fortunate to win an honorable mention for Beautiful Language and win a copy of Rhyming the Write Way by Laura Purdie Salas and Lisa Bullard. Thank you! The reason I say “I was fortunate” is because after I entered the contest, I realized I was so focused on the theme of hope that I never mentioned Valentine’s Day. So a good reminder to me – watch those submission guidelines.

50 precious words 2018This month, I’m participating in Vivian Kirkfield’s 50 Precious Words contest. There’s still time for you to enter and challenge yourself to write a story in 50 words. There are many great prizes. My entry is below.

Reading research 2018I’m also participating in Reading for Research Month as a viewer of the many wonderful posts. This is a great event and challenge with lots of opportunity to learn from mentor texts.

In addition, Chapter Book Challenge just started. Write a Chapter Book in a month! So, if you are writing a chapter book or have been thinking about writing one, here’s your motivation and accountability if you want it.

Now for my 50 Precious Words . . .

Wally Earthworm’s Quest
by Alayne Kay Christian

Wally Earthworm hated dirt  wally earthworm5
Reading’s what he loved the best
That, and snuggly, silky shirts.
Ready to begin his quest,
He squirmed, he searched, he wished, he roamed
He dreamed of silk and book abodes
Until a page of silken words
Became his perfect bookworm home.

(Metrical variance intentional)

 

Read Full Post »

 

FIRST A LITTLE INSPIRATION

EVERY DAY BIRDSAmy Ludwig VanDerwater, author of FOREST HAS A SONG and EVERY DAY BIRDS, challenged Today’s Little Ditty readers to write poems about small things— animals or objects you see everyday and don’t give much thought. I took the challenge, and I’m honored that my piece was selected as the poem that will close out Today’s Little Ditty’s month of small beauties.

little dittyToday’s Little Ditty is a great blog to follow. It offers tips and prompts for writing various forms of poetry, wonderful interviews, and fantastic examples of poetry. It’s well worth checking out.

Following is my little ditty.

 

 

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN NIGHT AND DAY
by Alayne Kay Christian ©2016

As the morning light steals the night
A new day is on the horizon
I am drawn to the eastern sky

In complete silence
The bright morning star calls to me
I am one with the Universe
Of this I am never more certain than
Somewhere between night and day

scan0027

In the sharing of this poem, I wish you many moments of quiet peace.

OVERCOMING SELF-DOUBT and FREE GIVEAWAY

revimo 2016In January, I was a guest blogger for Meg Miller’s ReviMo challenge where I wrote REVISING YOUR WAY TO DREAMS COME TRUE. If you are struggling with frustration or self-doubt, you might feel renewed after reading this post. At the end, I offer a free checklist for polishing manuscripts and doing critiques and edits.

IMPROVE YOUR MANUSCRIPTS AND YOUR ABILITY TO ENGAGE READERSReFoReMo 2016

This month, I had the honor of being a faculty member on the ReFoReMo (Read for Research Month) team. In my guest post, CLOSING THE GAP BETWEEN READING AND WRITING, I encourage readers to look deeper than the surface when analyzing mentor texts or your own work. In considering ways to engage readers, I offer four questions to ponder while analyzing your stories or mentor texts.

DEEPEN YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF PICTURE BOOK WRITING

My picture book writing course ART OF ARC: How to Analyze Your Picture Book Manuscript continues to deepen writers understanding of picture books while helping them refine their work. Following are some of the latest comments from students who have completed the course.

I wish The Art of the Arc course existed a year ago. It would have saved me a lot of time. It gathers a lot of information that new picture book writers need all in one place. Alayne provides so many examples and even includes a few that don’t follow the classic arc. I found the reminders about what the reader should be experiencing at different points in the story especially helpful.

I appreciated how the worksheets made me take apart my own manuscripts so I have a better understanding of why some aspect isn’t working. I’m going to continue using the worksheets to guide my revisions. The Facebook group doing a monthly study of a picture book should help solidify what I’ve learned. Thank you, Alayne! – Mary Worley – Children’s Writer and Former Librarian

Alayne’s Art of Arc self-paced course not only teaches a writer about story structure but explains the specific parts of a story, in depth, and the importance of why each must be related, relevant, and remain connected. What I learned through her examples and exercises are the specific ways to break down a story using task analysis. This process helps me determine if the reader is “imagining and feeling” the story I want to tell reflected through my writing. As a writer who starts as a pantser, Alayne provided the organization I needed to analyze my own writing. – Keila V. Dawson, Author, THE KING CAKE BABY, Pelican Publishing Co., January 31, 2015

Alayne distills and clarifies picture book wisdom in a conversational tone. Her writing has earned a place on my reference shelf. Mike Karg – Children’s Book Writer

Art of the Arc teaches you to methodically analyze your manuscript or mentor text, and in doing so, pulls you back as the author to see your story through more objective eyes, able to evaluate it piece by piece. The course is well organized and contains a virtual plethora of resources. – Beth Anderson – Freelance Writer

This course was so helpful in showing me the areas where my manuscripts were not moving and how to fix that. Studying picture books suggested in the course focused this for me. The great thing is now I’ll be able to use this as I’m writing and, I hope, cut down on revision time. I highly recommend this comprehensive course. – Carol Crane – Children’s Writer

When asked, “How does this course compare to other courses you have taken?” One Art of Arc graduate said, “I haven’t taken other courses. The best comparison is Ann Whitford Paul’s WRITING PICTURE BOOKS. I love the depth and specificity of both. As with her book, your materials are worthy of re-reads.”

The following are not testimonials, but a few wonderful comments from the ART OF ARC Facebook group.

I just want to thank you, Alayne Kay Christian for putting together such a comprehensive course. I am only on lesson two, but I have already learned so much. The cost of this course is some of the best money I ever spent on learning the picture book craft. My mind is racing with all the possibilities for improving my manuscripts and writing new and better ones. I am truly blown away with how much work you put into this and how generous you are to share it with the world. Thank you!

I agree! And the ability to be in this group, ask questions and give answers is invaluable, too! Thanks, Alayne Kay Christian!

Click here to learn more about ART OF ARC and to read many more testimonials.

art of arc extra

 

Read Full Post »

Mentors for Rent

Balanced Advice About Writing for Children and Young Adults

Blog - Anitra Rowe Schulte

Children's Author & Life Coach - Writer's Whole Life Perspective

Ellen Leventhal | Writing Outside the Lines

Children's Writer and Educator

KidLit411

Children's Author & Life Coach - Writer's Whole Life Perspective

Susanna Leonard Hill

Children's Author

johnell dewitt

nomad, writer, reader and aspiring author

Teresa Robeson 何顥思

books * science * nature * art * cultural identity * food

Nerdy Chicks Write

Get it Write this Summer!

Penny Parker Klostermann

children's author

Blogzone

Practical tips to help your writing dreams come true...

Caroline Frye

Children's Author & Life Coach - Writer's Whole Life Perspective

Noodling with Words

Children's Author & Life Coach - Writer's Whole Life Perspective

365 Picture Books

A picture book every day

Julie Hedlund - Write Up My Life

On Living the Dream and Telling the Tale

VIVIAN KIRKFIELD - Writer for Children

Picture Books Help Kids Soar

Carol Munro / Just Write Words

Can't write it yourself? Call Just Write Words.

Jo Hart - Author

A writing blog