I just read an article about writing picture books. I’ve been polishing my picture books for submission. One has been out to two publishers, both rejected it but I am holding on to my belief in the story. Maybe it needs a bit more tweaking? It has been through my crit group a couple of times and has been changed/tightened/improved (I hope) over the course of a few months.

Anyway- reading an article by Linda Arms White, The 5 Biggest Picture Book Mistakes – Are You Guilty of These? I found a nugget of gold. She advises using this simple sentence to evaluate your book:

This is a story about ___________________(the main character) who wants___________________(what? The goal) more than anything, but can’t get it because___________________(why? This is the story problem.).

If it isn’t exciting enough to grab your attention after you fill this in, punch it up! If you can’t fill this in, start over! Is it new, different and unique? Better be if you want to be published. 

I am bumping my story up to this sentence and if it holds merit – off it goes again this week!

Onward to my goal of finding a home for at least one of my picture books by the end of the year!