Reading 350 picture books and writing 80 reviews transformed my writing skills!

Reading 350 picture books and writing 80 reviews transformed my writing skills!

In launching my blog, Books4theCuriousChild.com I feel like I’ve completed a three-month intensive.  I read more than 350 picture books and wrote more than 80 reviews.  I read the best sellers, award winners, and classics—the best of the best—and chose my favorites from those.children-s-book-clip-art-Childrens-Books (1)

Writing the reviews forced me to identify—in words—what appealed to me.  Was it the art?  The poetry?  The cleverness?  The originality? The voice?  And how—exactly—did the words or art express its outstanding qualities?

Needless to say I did very little creative writing during the marathon.  Returning to my manuscripts after the launch, I wondered if I would see what needed improving—and did I see plenty!  What “needed to go” jumped out at me.  Words counts reduced, point of views jumped to attention, and my stories began to sound like the ones I had been reading.  Lean.  Focused.  Poetic.  Publishable!

Starting the blog was the best writing training I’ve ever undertaken.  I would recommend anyone serious about picture book writing to challenge themselves to marathon-read 20-25 award-winning books a week and write 4-6 reviews a week for a month.  It’s worth it!

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