Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Picture Book Writers with C.A. Henderson

children’s books, authors, writers, writers groups, tools
Christine Henderson
Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Picture Book Writers

I’d like to welcome Christine Henderson to Thyme for Writers. Christine enjoys writing about family life. Her writings have been featured in numerous anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul and Heaven Touching Earth as well as The Secret Place Devotional guide.

Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Picture Book Writers

by Christine A. Henderson

children’s books, authors, writers, writers groups, tools, storyboards, Thyme for Writers, Christine Henderson
Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Picture Book Writers

I brought a new picture book story to my children’s writers’ group meeting and asked for their assistance in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the story. They all liked the unique plot and the characters but they thought the story was too long. For those of you who write novels, it’s probably hard to imagine that 900 words is too long to tell a story. However, these days 800 words tends to be the max length that publishers want to see.

Being inquisitive and stubborn, I really didn’t think I needed to shorten my story. Surely, new books had at least that many words or more. To test my theory, I went to my local Barnes & Nobles and picked up an assortment of new books that I thought fit my story idea concepts. Sad to say, that word count rang true. Most pages had an average of two to five lines of text with an upper end of nine words per line. The books were 24 or 32 pages with at least two of those pages either being blank or showing the publishing details and acknowledgements.

So it was back to the drawing board – literally. I had imagined a storyboard in my head with the images previously, but now I wanted to put it on paper. Not being a great artist, I drew my stick figures with a bracketed scene description below each drawing. Now I started adding the text. Once I did that, I could see what words weren’t needed because the picture showed that part of the story. It was easy to chop 100 or more words. The story hasn’t lost its plotline, but now it flows better with the images.

Another reason to do a storyboard for a picture book is to see if you have a short story, rather than a picture book. If your storyline takes place in just one or two scenes, it may not be a picture book because there aren’t enough options for illustrations. If that is the case, perhaps you could incorporate that story in a book of stories or submit it to one of the many children’s magazines who accept short stories.

You may contact Christine at:

www.ChristineLHenderson.com

So Little Time to Conquer This Mountain with Candee Fick

writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
Candee Fick author of The Author Toolbox

I am so happy to have Candee Fick as my guest today on Thyme for Writers! Candee Fick is a multi-published author in both fiction and non-fiction. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

So Little Time to Conquer This Mountain

by Candee Fick

Most writers fall into the “I wish I had more time to write” camp while those lucky few who seem to have plenty of writing time are still members of the “My To-Do list never ends” club. The pursuit of publication or a writing career can seem as daunting and exhausting as scaling Everest, but every year thousands put their fingers on a keyboard…only to discover—or rather remember—that everyone has the same limited amount of time in which to get it all done.

And by all, I mean life. Take me for example. As a wife and mother, my days get filled with cleaning, cooking, laundry, homework, carpools, and sports. Relationships with family and friends require regular interactions and if I’m not taking care of myself with enough rest, exercise, and mental growth, I can fall apart quickly. Add in a day job and my calendar is stuffed to overflowing.

Except I’m also a writer with a coaching business. I dream up adventures and arrange words on a page in order to bring characters and settings to life. Once those polished stories are in the capable hands of my publisher, I do it all again. It might be easy to squeeze in an hour or two per day before the kids get up or in lieu of television in the evenings, but crafting stories is only one side of this mountain.

time, mountain, writing, perseverence
So Little Time to Conquer This Mountain

The other side of writing’s Everest is marketing. It’s the side that beginning writers don’t see in the excitement of starting a book, but soon the rumors swirl as old-timers drop words like social media, platform, website, tax deductions, book launches, and blog tours. The faint of heart stick their fingers in their ears, yell “Lalalalala,” and revise their first chapters again or jump from idea to idea, never finishing anything. Those who are serious about writing perk up and listen for tips about how to navigate the trail ahead.

The Author Toolbox

There are two main reasons that I wrote The Author Toolbox. First was to share what I’ve learned the hard way so newer authors can work smarter as they build their books, platforms, businesses, and careers. But mostly, I wrote it all down in order to give writers hope. It’s a long climb, but there is a way to get there and you are not alone in the journey.

If you know what the next steps of your personal journey involve, then you can deliberately and strategically focus your limited time on the activities that will move you closer to your goals. Your writing goal this week might be hitting a first draft word count or editing another chapter. You might even block out an hour to pre-schedule the week’s social media posts or organize office paperwork.

We have so little time available to conquer the mountains in our lives, but my hope is that you find your next steps…then take them. Because the view from the top is worth every moment of work.

You may reach Candee or obtain her works at the following links:

www.CandeeFick.com
www.TheAuthorToolbox.com (shortcuts to a page on my site with the index of blog posts)
www.Facebook.com/Author.Candee.Fick
www.Twitter.com/CandeeFick
All of my books: https://www.amazon.com/Candee-Fick/e/B0056B94VE/
The Author Toolbox: https://www.amazon.com/Author-Toolbox-Practical-Platform-Business/dp/099920100X/

The Author Toolbox is filled with over 100 practical tools to help today’s author build a book, a platform, a business, and a career. Why? So we can get it all done while freeing up both time and mental energy to do the one thing we really desire…write.

Thyme for Writers

Thyme for Writers is a new blog series for writers and book lovers. As many of you know, my website focuses on adding spice to your life, whether it be with nutrition and health tips, delicious recipes, or through Hidden Bloodlines, my romantic suspense novel and associated adventures in creating it and its sequel.

writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
Thyme for Writers
Adding Spice to Your

Most of us are writers in one form or another (whether by choice or necessity). The purpose of this series is to help you along the way with

  • tips,
  • direction,
  • encouragement,
  • inspiration,
  • the research and adventure behind some of your favorite works, or
  • just something interesting and fun to bring a smile to your face.

While I may be authoring some, my goal is to invite fascinating guests with different life experiences and areas of expertise.

The Author Toolbox
writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
The Author Toolbox

My first guest will be Candee Fick, author of The Author Toolbox. She is the reason I am able to create and maintain my own website. As a genuine techno-idiot, I volunteered to be Candee’s beta test project. Our goal was to determine if it’s possible for someone like me to gain the skills necessary to build a website and how long it would take. Needless to say, Candee is a miracle worker. In fairly short order, I learned the skills necessary and have continued merrily on my way.

Candee is an incredible writer and teacher and painstakingly created a blog series meant to help writers in all stages get their work created and a website begun. She compiled and added to this series in The Author Toolbox. Keep in mind, the tools provided and skills taught aren’t just for writers of books. Many pursue different artistic careers and businesses, but in today’s business environment, websites and social media dominate the marketplace if you want to succeed. The days of the telephone book are over. The reality is that websites and social media require writing.

Where to Start
writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
Candee Fick
author of
The Author Toolbox

There are thousands of writing guides and resources out there, but where should one begin? I have personally found that The Author Toolbox is the best first stop. Candee not only provides “how to…” information, but makes recommendations on easy to use resources to make life easier. On September 7 I am excited to have Candee Fick as my first guest on Thyme for Writers. Stay tuned… .

If you have something to share and you’d like to be a guest, please email me at karen@KarenVanDenHeuvel.com.