Last weekend I went to a writers' retreat hosted by one of my favorite authors, Michelle Houts. This is Michelle with her newest book, When Grandma Gatewood Took a Hike. When you go to a writing retreat, you also do a lot of reading, and I love to read!
Michelle used "Writing Picture Books" as our textbook. We looked at it chapter by chapter and then applied it to our own manuscripts. Staying at a Bed and Breakfast meant we could spread out and get comfortable. I love being comfortable! In one activity, we highlighted our story characters, one color for each character. It was an eye-opener! I discovered I had too many characters. It’s an easy fix...eliminate a couple of characters. Other eye-openers will take much longer.
Sometimes we did an activity and had a classmate repeat it. It was interesting to see where our answers matched, but even more interesting to find differences. This is where I learned the most, and can improve the most too. I love improving, hopefully enough to see this picture book published!
Here are two class pictures from Michelle Houts’ Picture Book Revision Retreat, January 2017, where learning is a lot of fun!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!