Intensive Picture Book Workshop
Work with a developmental editor for 8 weeks to write the first draft of your picture book and revise it twice.
All of the writing lessons, goal worksheets, and critique worksheets are on a private site. After you sign up, I will send you a password.
Modules 1 and 8 are “goals” modules. Modules 2-7 are critique steps. Each of the 6 critique step modules has 7 lessons. (6×7=42 lessons)
Intensive Picture Book Workshop Critique Week-by-Week:
- Story Goals: What are your 5 goals for this story? (Ideas) Due first day
- Story Topic: What topics does the story cover? (Ideas) Free write.
- Story Theme: What is the story’s emotional message? (Ideas) Free write.
- Story Pitch: What happens in Act 1, Act 2, and Act 3? (Organization) Free write.
- Story Arc: How do the main character’s emotions change? OR Which idea patterns do you use?* (Organization) Finish the first draft and select a story arc.
- Storyboard: How is the story paced page by page in a picture book? (Organization) Send in the first revised draft and a storyboard.
- Point-of-View: Does the story have a single narrator? (Voice)
= Send in the second revised manuscript.
- Wrapping Up: Final Manuscript Questions + Goals Review Due last day
*Yes, I critique nonfiction picture books!
Intensive Picture Book Workshop Syllabus:
A story has three parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end. Each part, each act, has a different job to do.
In the Intensive Picture Book Workshop you will learn how to:
1. show and tell your picture book story (without writing art notes).
2. answer the guiding questions for each act in your picture book story.
Act 1: Picture Book Beginnings
The 3 P’s: A Person in a Place with a Problem
- Who is the narrator?
- Uh-oh! What’s wrong? (A story starts when something changes.)
Act 2: Picture Book Middles
The 3 C’s: Conflict, Complications, CRISIS!
- What conflict does the main character encounter?
- Are things getting more complicated for the main character? Does it lead to a CRISIS?
Act 3: Picture Book Endings
The 3 E’s: Enlightenment, Energy, Emotion
- What does the main character finally realize?
- What does the main character finally do to solve the story problem?
Each module has a mentor text example lesson in each genre: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Please note: This is a STORY CRITIQUE. If you are writing in rhyme, I will help you with the meter in a Rhyming Picture Book WIP Scanning Critique.
Q. What is a free write?
A. A free write draft is the draft you write to figure out your story. You simply let the words pour out onto the page day after day until you reach “the end” of your book.
Be a Panster: Sit your pants in the chair and get those words on the page. Write whatever comes to mind without letting the editor in your head say, “This won’t work!” Just let the words come.
Be a Plotter and answer the guiding question for each critique step worksheet. Let your planning (and the new ideas you learn in the lessons in the modules) feed your muse so you can write.
Q. Do I have to write the first draft from beginning to end?
A. NO. Write the scenes in the order that they come to you — every day — so you can finish the book before you select a story arc for module 5.
Q. Is it okay if I have already started writing my book?
A. YES. Just keep writing until you reach the end.
Q. Do I have to write ALL of my first draft?
A. YES. After the story is out of your head and on the page, you will know what the book needs to say on the very first page to “set up” the story. (You can’t set up the book if you don’t know what is going to happen yet.)
Be a Panster: Write ALL of the first draft in modules 1-5.
Be a Plotter: After you select a story arc for module 5, decide what you need to “set up” your picture book. Then write 2 NEW drafts.
Q. Why do you want me to write two NEW drafts of my picture book?
A. For module 6, write a new draft of your picture book and send it in with a storyboard (a page by page “outline” of the action in your story) so I can critique the Big Picture in your storyboard.
After the storyboard critique, write another draft of your picture book for module 7 and send it in for a manuscript critique.
Q. Why do I need to find 3 book comps?
A. Editors compare your book to other books like yours as a standard part of the acquisitions process at many publishing houses. So we start with your 3 book comps to make sure your is unique. (If your book is not unique in some way, why will anyone buy it?)
Q. How long can the manuscript be? Is there a page limit?
A. There is a 1,000 word limit for picture books as that is the industry standard.
Q. How long will it take you to critique my picture book?
A. I will critique your picture book within two business days. (I write my own books first thing in the morning and work one-on-one with individual writers in the afternoon Monday through Friday.)
Q. Can I ask questions about the suggestions you made on the manuscript?
A. Yes. In the final session of the workshop, we can discuss any questions you have about the manuscript suggestions I made. We will also review the goals you set for this manuscript.
If you’re ready to keep working on the manuscript:
- You can work on a prose revision with a Picture Book WIP Critique.
- You can work on the meter in your rhyming picture book with a Rhyming Picture Book WIP Scanning Critique.
April 5 – May 24, 2017
Intensive Picture Book Workshop
Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.