Picture book ideas – Competing with NaNoWriMo?
Picture book ideas gain prominence in November at a time when many writers have their sights set on the big writing marathon known as NaNoWriMo. While the Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) is a growing writing event, it’s not necessary to choose. You can do both.
Most writers have at least one picture book idea in them but with a little nudge a multitude of picture book ideas can be generated. November is also Picture Book Month where authors, illustrators, librarians, and children celebrate the glory of the art form known as the picture book. Generating picture book ideas is one way all writers can participate and exercise their creative muscles at the same time.
While picture books are a major element in the development of reading and writers love to foster new readers, there’s also an unlimitedness and a huge sense of wonder found in picture book ideas that continue to lure writers.
Learning how to write a picture book is also a useful skill for writers — See my article on picture book writing — but first you need picture book ideas.
Picture book ideas blossom in November
This new major event for writers in November is PoBoIdMo or Picture Book Idea Month. Held every November since 2008, the event draws hundreds of picture book writers who focus on picture book idea generation. The idea is the brainchild of children’s author Tara Lazzar.
Tired of novelists having all the fun in November with NaNoWriMo, I created PiBoIdMo as a 30-day challenge for picture book writers. The challenge is to create 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. You don’t have to write a manuscript (but you can if the mood strikes). You don’t need potential best-seller ideas. – Tara Lazar, founder of PiBoIdMo
Registration occurs in late October through the first week of November.
Why participate in Picture Book Idea Month?
“I don’t write children’s books,” you say. I know. Why bother? It’s not your genre. How can spending time creating a bunch of picture book ideas help any writer who isn’t in the genre? Isn’t it a waste of time?
Well, no. Any writer can be on the receiving end of the benefits of conjuring up picture book ideas and especially during a large event such a PiBoIdMo. Here are a few.
Generating picture book ideas creates a habit of mind
Like any other writing skill, idea generation is a useful skill and one that requires practice. Your creative muscles quickly and easily become flabby unless you practice the various needed mental skills required to produce a work. It’s not about the genre but about the creation of ideas.
Developing picture book ideas produces actual books
Before you can write a book, any book, you need an idea. While full manuscripts often result from the idea exercise, not all picture book ideas remain as picture books. I’ve had picture book ideas evolve into middle grade novels. Two adult novel ideas I had eventually turned into young adult novels. You might be surprised at the results.
Creating picture book ideas is a great pre-writing exercise
Sometimes we sit down to write only to come up with a blank stare and no words. A little mental stimulation is required. Doing a quick writing exercise like generating picture book ideas for five to ten minutes is a great way to shake out the mind and juggle the words loose. Since November is also the time of the great NaNoWriMo writing marathon, PiBoIdMo fits in well as a companion event.
Being part of a month-long idea master-mind group is a big plus
For all the reasons why NaNoWriMo continues to flourish and draw thousands upon thousands of writers around the world, the annual PiBoIdMo event continues to grow. This community of writers are all focused on accomplishing the same goal and that is a proven and powerful force to tap into.
While these are only four reasons to incorporate PiBoIdMo into your November writing schedule, I’m sure you’ll discover many more benefits. Why not give PiBoIdMo a try? You can participate informally or make a more formal commitment: Go here to register.
What do you think about the picture book ideas event? What are the ways you stimulate your mind and create ideas? Share your thoughts and comments below and click on the book covers to find more inspiration.