Barbara Jean Hicks moved into my neighborhood from Seattle a few years ago and became one of my closest writing friends. The published author of five picture books, Barbara Jean enriches my writer's group, edits the blog and keeps a pulse on school programs and speaking opportunities.
I asked my good buddy Barbara Jean Hicks to give us the Writing Tip of the Day.
June Sobel's writing tip a few months ago about "letting go" was a good reminder for me. I hate letting go of my beautiful, too-many-for-a-picture-book words!
I've found that retyping my story from scratch is the best way to excise those extra words from my manuscripts. Somehow it's easier to leave words out when I'm retyping than it is to delete them from an existing file.
Another important tip for writers of picture books: remember that your story will, hopefully, be read aloud over and over again, so make sure it reads aloud well. I constantly read my stories aloud during the writing process, so much so that by the time I'm finished with the final revision of a manuscript I can almost recite it from memory. Not only does this practice increase the fluency of my work, it helps me catch nit-picky mistakes along the way.
Barbara Jean Hicks is the author of five children’s picture books, two of them featuring monsters and one featuring a cat who imagines he’s a monster—among other things (THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER KITTY).
Barbara is getting more
and more attached to British monsters, who in the capable hands of illustrators Alexis Deacon (JITTERBUG JAM: A MONSTER TALE) and Sue Hendra (MONSTERS DON'T EAT BROCCOLI) clearly are likeable beasts. She
Barbara is also a teacher for an online high school. Her most recent venture is Class Act Creative, a company formed to publish student art and writing. www.class-act-creative.com
CHILDREN'S BOOK AUTHOR
Barbara Jean Hicks