Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Swimming and Structure with Lisa Rose

I was a swimmer before I ever was a writer.  It was excellent training for writing.  Writing picture books often feels like swimming as fast as you can always crashing into a cement wall.  Many writers have all that manuscript that is “cute” and “fun” but for some reason just not working.   Writers often discuss structure when writing for older children but a picture book also has a structure.   Here are four common structures:

Cumulative:  The House that Jack Built
Decreasing: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
Time Line:  The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Full Circle: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

It was not until structured SHMULIK PAINTS THE TOWN around the week day time structure did the story begin to work better.  On Monday, the painter did this…On Tuesday, the painter did that…did it start working…well enough to get a contract.

SHMULIK PAINTS THE TOWN just released from Kar-Ben Publishing is about a painter who has to create a mural for Israeli Independence Day.  He can’t decide what to paint and gets a little help from a very unexpected source—his dog!  

So my suggestion is to look at the structure of all those “not working” picture books.   These structures have endured because they work and always can be used as a foundation to create fresh new and exciting picture books.

Random Lisa Facts:
Favorite color is Blue. 
Hates ketchup
Taught first grade and my students often lived in homeless shelters
Once had pet turtles named Broccoli and Peapod
Also, had pet Guinea Pigs.  Loves them more than turtles, but not as much as dogs.
Climbed Mt. Washington! And was really bummed when she got to the top and found out she could have driven up.
Lucky number is 2.
Practices yoga but hates Indian food and anything spicy or garlicy.  Please feed her frosting and ice cream.
Likes to wake up early---like before 5 am early.
Prefers Law & Order reruns over any Reality T.V.

More info about Lisa Rose:  www.

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