It's packed with good advice for authors and illustrators, some good to hear again, some put in a new way that gave me fresh insight, and some that made me laugh out loud. Three favorites:
DON’T FORGET to play ALL the parts/roles in the story. That way, all of your characters will feel three-dimensional and real. —Susan Fletcher, Dadblamed Union Army Cow
SEED THE RESOLUTION in the beginning of the book. It makes the ending so much more satisfying. Example: In my picture book, Maggie and the Monster, Maggie tells her mother early on in the story that besides the little noisy monster who comes into her room every night, there’s also a monster who lives upstairs in the closet behind the brooms. Later, when the little monster admits to Maggie that she’s looking for her mother, Maggie knows just where to find that mother. Upstairs in the closet behind the brooms. The resolution was “seeded” early on… — Elizabeth Winthrop, Dumpy LaRue; Lucy and Henry Are Friends
BONUS TIP: Recently, I was on a walk with my friends Chris Tebbetts (Public School Superhero; Middle School 7: Just My Rotten Luck) and Liza Woodruff (Emerson Barks; and illustrator of If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!), and they shared a great tip they’d picked up at a recent writing retreat. When a discussion there turned to writing discipline, one writer told the group that she pays herself $15/hour to write, and those funds go into a separate bank account that she then uses for retreats and trips throughout the year. Now, that’s a kind of motivation I’d never thought of!
For those of us writing and/or illustrating picture books, it's well worth checking out.
Illustrate and Write On,