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I've been reading up on screenwriting and story development to help me layout a good story arc for my children's chapter book stories. I've read several books that I believe are worth mentioning:
Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder
Teach Yourself Screenwriting by Raymond Frensham
How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James Frey
Writing Dialogue by Tom Chiarella
I just finished Save the Cat! and Mr. Snyder mentioned that having a board to pin story elements to helps identify where the holes are. He suggests to tack as much to the board as you can, so you can delve into writing with confidence...you know where to start and where it's going.
He also urges screenwriters to write a logline before they get started. This is a VERY short summary (28 words or less) of your story. The Cracking Yarns
blog was very helpful in this area and contains lots of other useful information too.
The Board - details
I've written and revised my first chapter book and will be sending it out to agents/editors that visited the last SCBWI Western WA conference last April and are accepting solicitations from attendees. While that's in the cooker, I've already started my second book and wanted to try using the board as Mr. Snyder suggested.
I have it all tacked down...now I need to start writing. Once I get cracking on that, then I'll know if spending the time writing, tacking, moving, and eliminating index cards was worth it. So far, I'd say it was a worthwhile exercise.
I recently found this wonderful blog
by Kathy Temean
, the Regional Advisor in New Jersey for the SCBWI
I don't know why it took me this long to find it.. hee.. but it's filled with great information for writers and illustrators, both stablished or people just starting out and wanting to learn everything about this business. Definitely worth checking out! :o)
Ladybird has a blog!
if you want to check it out. :o)
One of the blogs I always enjoy visiting belongs to the talented Lynne Chapman. Her blog is filled with tons of valuable information. Like this post
, for example, where she explains a little about how she designs her spreads.
Go have a look at her blog
which is filled with super cute art and many videos, really fun stuff!
I wanted to get back to my traditional collage roots for a time and get my hands dirty. I was inspired by the artist, Cindy Wunsch
, with her use of memorabilia as a background for her images. I really like her easy folk-like style, which is personally hard for me to accomplish. When I work traditionally, I'm in a constant state of fear. When I finally do find the courage to break through one obstacle, I'm afraid to ruin my piece at the next turn.Cindy
is featured in the latest Cloth Paper Scissors
magazine and mentions in her article that she had a hard time starting an image. That blank canvas does have a way of stymieing creative progress! Her solution is to lay down her base with memorabilia, then paint on top of that letting key words stand out...which then starts the story rolling.
I decided to try her method and really enjoyed seeing sentimental items that had been stored for many years, make an appearance in the light of day! I played with this image and am happy with it's direction, although it feels incomplete to me.
Any ideas or thoughts would be helpful to help push me past another obstacle to the finish line. I'd like to hear it all, even though it's glued down and pretty concrete...I have more memorabilia crying to be used :)
© Copyright Alicia Padrón
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Who Hoo Are You?
by Kate Endle
What Is Green?
by Kate Endle
I took my friend to Cafe Flora in Madison Park last Friday and loved the artwork that was on exhibit. I wrote down the illustrators website so I could see more and discovered that she is a children's book author and illustrator. I have read these two books and find her illustrative style very refreshing.
I have a soft spot for collage and I love her use of Japanese styled paper. She keeps things simple so that her shapes and patterns are the focus. Beautiful work! I'm inspired.
If you'd like to check out more of Kate Endle's work she has a website
and a shop at Etsy
A little journalism lesson for you.
When you make a mistake, you need to admit it as straightforwardly as possible. The New Republic announced today it will no longer stand behind the reporting of a soldier in Iraq.
They admitted that American soldier Scott Thomas Beauchamp probably fudged some of his writings for the magazine, without taking hardly any responsibility for some crucial mistakes.
In 2004, public editor Daniel Okrent chastised the New York Times for a similar correction, calling the pseudo-apology "rowback." Dig it:
"[J]ournalism educator Melvin Mencher describes a rowback as 'a story that attempts to correct a previous story without indicating that the prior story had been in error or without taking responsibility for the error.' A less charitable definition might read, 'a way that a newspaper can cover its butt without admitting it was ever exposed.'"
As you can see by the 404 angry comments from readers at TNR, the webby world doesn't take rowback lightly. In addition, 23 blogs have already posted about the disaster. I especially liked Andrew Sullivan's take, a level-headed look at why it might have happened.
Avoid rowback at all costs, especially these days when blogs are calling for blood. Admit your mistakes, and try not to stay defensive in your apology. Here's Sullivan's take:
"it seems to me that the obvious motive behind the Beauchamp piece was to get some vivid first-person war-reporting in the magazine, to convey what it's actually like to be a soldier. They picked the wrong soldier; and they were too defensive in trying to figure out what happened (which is still unclear to me); and they should never have assigned his wife as his fact-checker."
With my new found freedom (yeah preschool!), I've been working on a new image for Illustration Friday's theme this week, acrobat. My goal was to get it started and finished within my 2.5 hour time slot to brush the dust off...but as it turns out, I've turned it into a project and it is half way there.
Keep it simple? Not me.
So, while I work at my illo...I thought I'd share an artist that I recently discovered. I saw her latest childrens book at Powell's Bookstore while on vacation in Portland. Check out her artwork here: Pamela Zagarenski. I really admire her whimsical style.
Quentin Blake. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe
Who doesn't love Quentin? His free strokes and lovely lines. His unforgettable characters and simple humor. He is a true Master.
Plus he is such an adorable man. I love watching him work. This is one of my favorite videos of him. It lasts 10 minutes so make sure you are comfortable, feet up, tea or coffee in hand and enjoy.