Last night, I awoke from my sleep with the perfect first line for a picture book. I didn't feel like getting up to write it down, so I tried to go back to sleep. I couldn't.
Finally, I did get up and write it down. That must have satisfied something in my sub conscience, because I quickly fell back to sleep. This morning, I found the scribbled note. After reading it, I didn't find the words so monumental after all. Great ideas must be greater when you're half sleep. Still, I used the inspiration to write a complete first draft, and did it in little under two hours.
In an earlier post, I mentioned working smarter. For this manuscript, that will mean developing text along with pictures. I plan to create a final cover illustration, and sketch out a few inside spreads. Then I'll submit a dummy book to editors, as opposed to a written manuscript only. I should have done this years ago — duh! — this isn't a new idea.
I think my story would be considered a fractured folk tale. I've presented it a zillion times to children at schools. It's become so much a part of me, I felt compelled to retell it with my own voice, and a few added twists. I know folk tales don't fall under the category of a possible big book, in terms of sales, but my goal is to tell stories that I enjoy writing, and not concern myself with what might be a big seller. That's somebody else's job.
This is my favorite stage of the writing process. At this point I have a structure on which to build. I can add arms or wings, feathers or fur. Or simply leave it as it is. I'm past the point of having writer's block. And I did it at an all-time low of under 500 words. And to think, this time yesterday, I thought I wouldn't have anything to submit to my critique group next weekend. Take notice, I did say group — we have an additional person!