Writing Process Blog Tour

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Two weeks ago (sorry I'm so pokey, Penny!) I was tagged by Penny Parker Klostermann for the Writing Process Blog Tour. Penny writes picture books and poetry for children. She was named runner-up for the Barbara Karlin Grant in 2012 with my story, MARS NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. My debut book, THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON, is coming from Random House Children’s Fall 2015. THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON is the tale of a ravenous dragon who swallows more than his belly can hold. Penny is a very sweet lady who hugs her favorite picture books.

Participating in the Writing Process Blog Tour means answering four questions and then tagging fellow writers who will join the tour. Here are the four questions and my answers.

1. What am I working on? I have several manuscripts in the works, but my favorite is a fairy tale that critique mates and a professional editor have said is lyrical, lovely and that it stuck with them after they read it. Pretty big kudos in my opinion! I'm excited to polish it and research where to submit it!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? Hmm, that's a tough question! As a writer trying to get published it is key to write something fresh and new. This is something I strive to do. How do I do it? I listen to the funny things my kids say, I watch the world around me for fresh and funny things and I let my imagination run amok. Hopefully this will make my stories stand out from the crowd

3. Why do I write what I do? In elementary school art class we wrote a fable, drew the illustrations and made it into a book. I LOVED it! Ever since I have loved writing and drawing and have dreamed of being an author. Right now I'm focused on writing picture books, but I have some middle grade and young adult novel ideas swimming around in my head (and written in various notebooks!).

4. How does your writing process work? I am not always in the mood to write, but if I am, I'll mull over a story until something clicks and then I either write out a draft on paper or type it up on the computer. Or if I have a story I love that isn't working I mull that over until I find a fix. If my creative juices aren't flowing, I can sometimes jump start them. Typically typing up the text of a favorite picture book is a surefire way to get my brain going and then I'm off. Sometimes typing up a favorite picture book inspires revisions on a story, sometimes it gives me a whole new idea. My kids (Speed, 2 years old and Peep, 4 years old) say a lot of funny and interesting things that sometimes turn into a picture book. 

To jumpstart revisions I ask questions that come from Ann Whitford Paul's book
Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication. Right now I'm studying Linda Ashman's book, The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books
and that fuels my revisions too! 

There are also two sites that I use for critiques for others and also for my own stories: 
Picture Book Critique Questions from Writing on the Sidewalk and
 How to Critique a Picture book from ebooks4writers

I won't be tagging anyone, so I'll list some more helpful kidlit links. Here you go!

Great picture book writing class, Susanna Leonard Hill's Making Picture Book Magic

Julie Hedlund's 12x12, awesome picture book writing community

Highlights Foundation Workshops and Retreats - The most amazing writing workshop experience!

Fun writing challenges:

My very own ReviMo - Revise More Picture Books, revise crappy drafts every day for one week.

PiBoIdMo - Picture Book Idea Month, write down 30 picture book ideas in 30 days.

NaPiBoWriWee - National Picture Book Writing Week, write 7 drafts in 7 days.

RhyPiBoMo - Rhyming Picture Book Month.


Vivian Kirkfield said...

Loved your writing process post, Meg! Thank you for sharing all the links and resources...I've participated in almost all...missed NaPiBoWriWee this go-round and would LOVE to do a Highlights workshop or retreat...maybe now that I am on the east coast, that will happen. :) And I have a copy of Linda's Nuts and Bolts...now I just have to read it!!!!!

MegMillerWrites said...

Thank you for reading Vivian! :D I'm pretty sure that it's a rule you attend a Highlights Retreat if you live on the east coast and write! :D Come join us in Word by Word if you like, we're studying Nuts&Bolts right now, we'll be doing Chapter 7 on Thursday!

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Thanks for sharing your process Meg. I'm really late in stopping by! Hope you have a fun summer filled with adventures, writing and revisions (and submissions)!

pennyklostermann said...

Great post, Meg! I enjoyed hearing about your writing process. I think it's so fun that you got hooked in elementary school when making a book! Good luck with all things writing!

MegMillerWrites said...

Thanks Penny! :D Best of luck with all things writing to you too!!!

MegMillerWrites said...

Thank you for stopping by Stacy! Happy writing, revising (writing, revising), submitting to you too! :D

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Andrew Ashcroft said...

I identify with so much of what you have written. Bless those inspiring teachers that inspire us to imagine and create! Now aged 44, I have published my first children's book! You can bet that I am on a high at the moment and busy with the next story. Like your stories it is illustrated in color and intended for younger children. i also have a blog, so i will recommend your blog there. Thank you for sharing your experience with us new kids!

MegMillerWrites said...

Congrats Andrew and thank you! :)