It seems I still need homework!

I’m beginning to think I can’t do anything without a deadline. I have stories upon stories in my head, but I have very little success getting them on paper. But, while registering for the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Conference coming up, I had one day to write the first chapter of a children’s book.

And that day was today.

A first chapter might not seem like much, but I think beginnings are always the hardest part. So many details have to be decided upon–so many things to do! And, it has to be captivating, interesting, compelling, etc.

Children’s books are even harder. You have to ask yourself a completely different set of questions… Does my four year old character talk like a four year old? Would an 11 year old know the word “monocle?” What kind of math do students do in 5th grade? Did I stay in a 11 year old boy point of view?  And then there’s the ethics of children’s books. What ethnicity is the family I’m writing about? Does that matter? Am I showing a bias? This is why so many picture books feature animals, I’m sure of it. What ethnicity is a badger? See where I’m going?

But for now, I’m just basking in the joy of having finished something. It may have taken an external deadline, but I have 15 pages done, and I’m actually proud of them.

Pretty good for a day where I’m still in my pajamas, eh?

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