Hey Supporters, thanks for stopping by. As you may recall from last week, I will be spending the next few weeks discussing the process I use when writing my books as a part of Blogging Through The Alphabet with Marcy @ BenandMe.com.. Specifically, I will be using my book Jaden Goes to Foster Care as an example. So "B" is for Building on an Idea.
My initial idea for this book was to describe/illustrate the idea relationship between the child, foster parent and birth parent. So the first step in the process of writing a book/picture book is to build on your idea. For me, this involves the following steps. As I am working through each of these steps, I am taking notes on my idea, things I want to be sure to include in the story and any other points I want to remember.
1. Seeking Wise Counsel – as a Christian, for me the first step in my process is praying. I pray about each book I write and ask God to show me how He would have me write the story. For some of my books, I have literally spent years (Why We Give Gifts at Christmas Time) on this step. For other books, I prayed about them, sort of forgot about them until God woke me up one morning. The latter is the process I went through with Jaden Goes to Foster Care.
Part of seeking wise counsel, for me, also involves discussing my ideas with my accountability partners. I only share the idea with a select few people. In the case of Jaden Goes to Foster Care, I spoke with a few of my therapist friends, fellow foster parents, and foster children. So ask yourself whom you need to seek counsel from about your book and schedule a time to talk to them.
2. Reviewing the Literature – Once I have settled in an idea, I also review the literature (i.e., the Bible), other books that may be similar to mine and any professional information that could help. Jaden Goes to Foster Care is the first non-Christian book that I am writing, so I did not review relevant Bible verse for it. However, all of my other books contain several Bible verses to help illustrate the story.
For Jaden Goes to Foster Care, I specifically reread several other foster care books (i.e., Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care; Murphy's Three Homes: A Story for Children in Foster Care; Kids Need to Be Safe: A Book for Children in Foster Care ). Since I worked with children who are in foster care for close to ten years and was a foster parent for a number of years, I also have read a ton of other books on this topic. Note: As you are looking at other books in a similar category as yours, it is also helpful to check their Amazon rank. You can do that by scrolling down on the book’s page and looking for the number that shows after the “Amazon Best Sellers Rank.” The lower the number is, the more books this title sells. For example, #1 sells more books than #1,000.
3. Organize Your Ideas and Notes - If you would like to see my working notes for Jaden Goes to Foster Care click here. Now that you have built on your idea, go write. Try to write a draft of your story between now and next week when I will discuss choosing your layout.
Until next time, please pray for me as I pray for you,