First and foremost, you should have an idea. And, where on earth do they come from? I think they’re whispered in my ear. I’d always wanted to write a picture book, but how? I knew they were shorter, obviously, than my longer mystery books. They’re approximately 70,000 words or more. I researched the length of a picture book, and the wordage ranges from 350-800 words.
How does a person learn to write short? You know, tell a story with only a few words? I couldn’t send a note to my kids’s teachers without making a longer story about being home with a fever. How can I do it?
It’s called the bare bones.
I loved red shoes. My mom’s nickname was Maggie. I have redhair cousins. I was born with redhair. I needed a ginger colored kitty. A kitty needs a puppy and why not a bunny? Let’s add a bird into the mix?
Okay. I now have some fuzzy, furry friends. What am I going to do with the animals?
After some thought, I decided the kitty must lose her shoes. Let’s notch the bar line up a bit, and give her three legs instead of the usual four. Now, I have a story with a plot.
But I don’t know how to draw. Period. Not even a little bit.
Our small town gallery has big town talent. I met with a wonderful retired art teacher who loves to draw puppies, kitties and bunnies. I hired her. We were a team.
I’d make a few suggestions and so would she. She was terrific.
The final title: Red Shoes. I used my middle name and wrote under the pseudonym of Barbie Marie.