Thursday, May 13, 2010

NaPiBoWriWee and Beyond

Last week I participated in the National Picture Book Writing Week invented and organized by the dynamic Paula Yoo. I did it last year too and I'll do it again next year. It's like everything else; the more you do it the better you get at it. I wrote 7 first drafts of 7 picture books. Might seem easy but the hardest part at times is sitting down, taking out those ideas that have been rattling around in the dark corners of the brain and putting them to the test. Do they hold up on paper? Not always but that's okay because then you can move on. And the other ideas, the ideas that start to look promising— they need revision but that's okay too. I'm always happy when I do something, move it all forward even a little bit and in the context of this challenge it was fun. Paula was rooting for us and provided tons of support and advice. And then there were the other participants: I met some great people in the 'comments' on Paula's website and on twitter. I attempted new things and learned some too. What's not to like?

This week I'm getting back to what I was doing before the NaPiBoWriWee madness began. Some painting and a picture book dummy. I revised the story in places so that requires new illustrations then I decided I needed to rethink the couple of paintings I had already done for it… hmmm

This is another study for the main character.
I'd changed my mind while doing it so this is really for working things out.

Now I'm going to go back and start over. Don't worry! I will figure this out. I'm pretty sure. :-p

This is a little painting of a subject I've done before as an attempt to develop an illustration 'style'.

I've since bagged the idea of working that way… got to keep it natural, me. So I redid it as an exercise to get back to where I was before I started fiddling… That's what you see here. And I'll probably do it over again.

Next week my daughter will be taking a big trip with her Latin/Greek class to Greece and so I'll have lots of uninterrupted time to work. Let's all keep our fingers crossed I use my time very wisely!


  1. I see you are following up a big group challenge with a big personal challenge! You are very energetic. This week I'm trying to get my desk cleared off.

    Best wishes for a wonderful trip for your daughter and productive time for you.

  2. Wow, that's an awesome challenge! I love NaNoWriMo and I imagine NaPiBoWriWee to be just as motivating and inspiring! The colors in your artwork are amazing, btw!

    Good luck with all the extra time you have coming up!

  3. Thanks, Lynda. My desk is a mess! Seems I'm always shuffling things from one flat surface to another. Good luck with yours ;-)

  4. Hi Laura,
    Yes, I not only love these challenges, I need them. I've never done the novel writing month as I don't write in that format (for now). Writing is so solitary that it's great to have a place to share.

    I'm really hoping to accomplish a lot next week but I know that tons of free time is sometimes more difficult to manage than smaller allotments. I'm not complaining though :-)

  5. I really like the study you did for the main character - her pose, her curled feet, thoughtful expression - and the POV - charming and evocative. And the stairs are great. Bravo for participating in NaPiBoWriWee. I hope to do it next year.

  6. I did NaNoWriMo last year, but I think the picture book challenge can be tougher. The compression of a story to so few words makes me a bit nervous. But congrats on persevering! And I hope the painting is going well...

  7. Hi Bluestocking,

    I've never even attempted a novel so my hat's off to you. Picture books are challenging because there's a lot to do in a little space but I think they'd be a great process/exercise for people who write longer forms.

    And the painting is moving along.... !