Top 3 Ways to Find Ideas

November is a big month for writers.  It’s National Novel Writing Month or (NaNoWriMo).  And for those of us who write picture books?  This month is Picture Book Idea Month or (PiBoIdMo).

The challenge is to think of one picture book idea a day.  Daunting?  Yes!  But not nearly as daunting as writing an entire 50,000 word novel in one month.  

Tara Lazar, the founder of PiBoIdMo, told me that nearly 1800 people registered for PiBoIdMo this year.  As a community we’re coming up with a bazillion ideas!

This is my 3rd year participating in this challenge and sometimes I feel like every idea is a bust.  A sun with a fever?  A tire that gets car sick? Who would want to read about A leaf that is scared of falling off the tree?  But as Josh Funk emphasized in his PiBoIdMo post, sometimes it’s the most terrible ideas that make the best books!
Here are 3 ways to get your ideas flowing.  
  • Think about your childhood.  Try to remember what you liked as a child, experiences you had, games you loved to play etc.  These are great fodder for amazing stories! See above, a picture of 5 year old me, most likely contemplating my next story idea. 
  • Observe the children in your life.  I get most of my ideas from my 5 kids.  The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall wouldn’t exist if my children hadn’t felt bored at Home Depot on a rainy day. And when my kindergartener started wearing bow ties every day last week, I knew there was a story waiting to be told.

  • To read more of this post, go to Children's Book Academy

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