Today I’m again linking up with ‘What I’m Writing’, this week hosted over at The Muddled Manuscript. I received helpful advice last week when I reached out about how to get started in real terms, and I’m pleased to say it has paid off. I’ve drafted my first children’s picture book, which has been floating about in my head for some time. But now it’s actually written here on my computer!
Thank you everyone who commented last week. Beyond the advice given directly to me, I read some really insightful posts via the Linky. I tried to comment on the majority of last week’s posts only to subsequently realise I’d fallen victim to Askimet and none of my comments had actually posted! Grrrr….. That should be sorted now.
So how did I finally make progress? I set aside a dedicated writing session at the weekend with no interruption, no phone(!), no children, nothing. This was the easiest time for me as my Monday – Friday is spent either in London at work or at home with children dancing around my ankles. I just wrote, and tried not to over edit as I went. Once I was in the zone, the words flowed fairly easily but I suppose I’ve been thinking about them in various iterations for the last couple of months.
My children’s picture book is Christmas themed, written in verse and currently 18 pages with one line of verse per page in its raw unedited format. I need an illustrator because that I definitely am not! It’s called Santa Trap and I tried it out on my four year-old and she seemed to enjoy it, sans pictures and all.
What I’d really like advice on is now that I’ve got this draft, what do I do with it? Would you share the draft on the blog to get other opinions on it? I have some longer children’s books that I’m itching to write (think Charlotte’s Web length) and I guess I’d feel more comfortable sharing the first couple of chapters of them as opposed to the whole picture book text. How careful do I need to be to protect my ideas/words and how do you copyright the writing that you put up on your blogs?
Beyond that, should I share the draft with my couple of friends who work in publishing? Or write an introductory pitch and send it out to some select publishers (appreciating that I’m a very small fish in a very big pond)? Would you try to independently find an illustrator first?
Your thoughts and advice would be really appreciated.