Week of December 4—What Do I Do With All These Ideas?!
Thursday, December 8—Plan Your #1 Pick
I have a confession. Before PiBoIdMo was over, I had already started writing two of my ideas. I drafted one completely—then realized I didn’t address the central problem of the story. The other bogged down a third of the way in. Why? Because I failed to plan, that’s why. Oh, I had a vague notion of the conflict and the rise and fall of action, and I loved both concepts (and still do). But I didn’t plan, so I lost my way along the way!
It’s not unlike me to jump in with both feet. Frankly, it’s the same problem many of my students have. They want to write . . . plan? Forget about it! (And don’t even get me started on their feelings about revision.) I have to remind my students (and myself) that real writers . . . successful writers . . . professional writers don’t just let their writing happen, they plan it first.
With that in mind, I chose another of my top picks and planned it out thoroughly. The first draft was completed in no time, and I’ve already sent it to one of my critique groups for feedback. Planning is the key.
Today, I want to share my picture book planning organizer. Some of you have seen it before. This little sheet has made a difference for me. I know it won’t work a 100% of the time . . . but I’ll settle for 60% or 75%! You’re welcome to use it, too.
My challenge to you: Choose one of your top ideas and plan it. Really think through your story and where it is going. Know that the plan will change with each critique and that through revision you’ll polish and polish and polish. But first, get the plan written down and pound out that first draft!