Tuesday Writing Tips: Here, There, and Everywhere

So we’re skidding  into the last days of November, scrambling to finish what we started, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, back on the first days of November.

If you’re participating in NaNo, I hope your words have been many and mostly making sense. I completely forgot to mention my guest post over at Agent Courtney’s blog, but it’s not too late for you take a tip from that timely post.

I’m caught up (just!) for Picture Book Idea Month and I am not going to lie–I have been looking out the window practically every day to find an idea. So there are an inordinate number of picture books featuring squirrels, dogs, joggers, leaves falling off trees, decaying pumpkins… Well, I think you get the picture (Ugh. Sorry about that.). But honestly, there are a few gems in the file, so I stand by my tip: ideas are everywhere, if you just take a look around.

And I just zipped over to check out The Next Big Thing over at Sioux’s blog and Debra’s blog and I cannot wait to read these finished manuscripts! Not just because I really like both of these women and their writing, but also because they both came up with great synopsis lines for their works-in-progress. If you can write a great one-line synopsis of your manuscript, then you’ve got a great handle on what your book’s about. And what’s more, you know exactly how you want to pitch it to an agent or publisher.

That’s a golden writing tip, too. So take your pick of a tip–and cross that November finish line with a wow! (And maybe a whew, too!)


November Bonanza: PiBoIdMo, NaNoWriMo, Picture Book Month and Kidlit Cares (Whew!)

There was a time when November 1st was a relatively simple day. Dispose of the pumpkin before the ants overran my porch, pick through any good Halloween candy left, and get myself to church for All Saints Day. I still do all that (okay, I don’t always get to that pumpkin promptly. The ants are my new best friends) but now that I’m a (mostly serious) writer, November 1st is far from simple.

There’s Picture Book Idea Month starting up over at Tara Lazar’s wonderful blog. I love PiBoIdMo because I just have to come up with an idea. An idea. That’s like, what? A sentence? A sentence fragment, even. I am all over that writing challenge.

And it ties in nicely with Picture Book Month. Technically, I don’t have to write anything for this wonderful literacy initiative that promotes picture books. I just like to slap the badge on my blog and celebrate.  And ask others to join me in the celebration. Picture books opened the door to a world of reading for me and for all the Junior Halls, and I want every kid to have the opportunity to discover that same world when they discover a favorite picture book. Oh! I know! I can celebrate by sharing a post or two on favorite picture books from our shelves. So there will be Picture Book Month writing, after all.

Of course, many of you know about National Novel Writing Month, where 50,000 words in a month gets you a novel and makes you a winner in this writing challenge. NaNo has been a great tool for me, whether I finish the 50,000 words or not…but that’s a post for another day. For now, I’m using NaNo to finish the last edits on one of my already-finished novels. So definitely a chunk of writing there.

Oh! And this year, because of the devastating destruction left behind by Sandy, kidlit authors, agents, editors and illustrators have come together in Kidlit Cares: Superstorm Sandy Relief Effort over at Kate Messner’s website. You can bid on their services (like a critique) and maybe get some feedback on one of your November writing projects–and help the efforts of the Red Cross while you’re at it.

And now, I should check on the time for that All Saint’s Mass, and the status of the leftover Halloween candy.  Although with the Beneficent Mr. Hall in the house, “leftover candy” is an oxymoron.