Monday, May 2, 2011

Writing Craft: A Brief Note on Concept Books

IT'S INTERNATIONAL PICTURE BOOK WRITING WEEK! More on that at the end of this post. And, I still have family in town, so this is going to have to be a quickie, but I just wanted to throw out another note on concept books, which is:

You still need a hook. In fact, since concept books are so plentiful and the possibility of another concept book out there being on the same subject as yours is so huge (like, there almost definitely, most certainly, without a doubt IS*), a hook is pretty much mandatory. So, whether it's that your book rhymes, or has a craft project at the end, or involves the counting of fish by pink feathery aliens living in a yellow submarine, figure out what it is, and include it in your cover/query letter.

And now:

IT'S INTERNATIONAL PICTURE BOOK WRITING WEEK! In which PB-ers the world over commit to writing one first draft of one picture book every day for a whole week! Because way back in November we did something called PiBoIdMo and now we have 30 ideas that we still haven't done anything with! *ahem* #notme #iswear #okaymaybe

Actually, I think NaPiBoWriWee is a great idea, and I think Paula Yoo is pretty cool for thinking of it and for putting it all together, so I'm joining in. Go here to do the same.  It's a great way to give yourself a kick in the pants if you've let the writing slide, and it's a great way to experience some camaraderie if you've been trucking along all on your writerly lonesome for the first part of the year.

So, join in! Have fun! Go nuts! Keep me posted! And remember your hook!

*Unless your book is about seasons on Mars. In which case, your topic IS your hook.


  1. Wow. I'm a YA writer, so it's hard to imagine writing things that fast, though I understand the word count isn't even comparable. Still, it seems like a great exercise for your creative brain! It takes a lot of flexibility to generate all those new concepts!

  2. huh- I had no idea this was going on! Thanks for the heads up and good luck!

  3. Good luck. Sadly I'm not a PB writer. That seems like a lot of first drafts in one week. I'm impressed.