The first month of the 12 x 12 2012 picture book draft writing challenge has been a good one. We’re developing a great community, especially through the Facebook Group. It’s been fun to see people post their accomplishments and have others leap in to cheer them on. Resources, blogposts and encouragement are regularly shared. Julie Hedlund, the driving force behind 12 x 12 was interviewed on Katie Davis’ Brain Burps About Books podcast. So much exciting stuff going on!

Oh. You’re wondering what I did? Okay. I could tell you that. Click on that nifty “read more” thing, and, well, read more.

The object of the challenge is to write one picture book draft per month. It doesn’t need to be a fully polished draft by the end of the month, but it does need to be a complete draft with beginning, middle and end.

I was quite pleased with my first draft for January. Of course it needs work, very few people can write well enough in the first draft to be publishable at that point. However, I wrote a 478 word picture book manuscript. (If Emma read that, she’d be stunned. My usual drafts start out over 1000 words.) This is another in a planned series, and follows nicely from the book I’m polishing at the moment (but it’s completely different).

I experimented with writing in first person, present tense, and this particular story idea worked well that way. And I wrote my first-ever circular ending.

Next month will be a totally different experience, with a younger target audience (younger than I’ve ever written for). Tune in on February 28 for my next Check In (usually these posts will be the last day of the month, unless that would overlap one of my regular features).

 

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