"For one who writes, a picture book takes you on a journey that goes beyond what the 4-8 year old reader experiences. The child reader is on a journey, experiencing something for the first time or reliving something they already know through the characters. While we bring our own set of experiences to the story, too, our brains are also wired for the inner workings of the book. The craft in each book unfolds before us and we analyze: How did the author build tension? What made me want to turn the page? How did they infuse humor, heart, or themselves into the book? What made me connect? What delighted my tongue? Inquiry takes over and we return to our stories knowing how others masterfully manage words and ideas. We take notes. We learn what works and what doesn't. Then, we write, letting our own passion and ideas lead the way."
-Carrie Charley Brown
"For me, reading informs everything that I do and think and feel. Reading infuses my mind with ideas and images and thoughts. Reading helps me understand what makes a good book. If I think about what I like most about my favorite books, I incorporate those qualities into my manuscripts. The more good books I read, the easier it is to write a good book!"
"When you fill yourself up with reading, the pace, rhythm, humor, voice and heart of the picture book stories seep into your bones. The more you read, the better you write."
"Reading what's new in the market helps writers stay abreast of what's getting published. Keep in mind when subbing to agents and editors, they often ask for comparable titles. Although the books out today were acquired two or three or more years ago, writers pay attention to word count, story structure, and what topics, characters and themes are popular in published work. Is your story strong enough or different enough to compete with all the others?"
What common threads did you notice? We would love to hear your response to the same question!