One Writer’s Journey

October 2, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:49 am
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Push your limits creatively.  I give this advice to other people all the time so I decided it was time to take it myself.  I am taking part in Inktober.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Inktober, it is a challenge designed to encourage artists to improve their style/technique/talent and develop a habit of drawing daily.  There is a month-long list of prompts (see left).  You can pencil your drawing first and then ink it but the goal it to ink and share.

Yeah.  I was all jazzed up to do this but I had yoga.  When I came home, I searched Twitter for @Inktober.  Oh, wow.

I’m a lot less jazzed now.  The work is varied and STUNNING.  Simply stunning.  Granted, some of the participating artists seem to ignore the prompt completely.  That or I am way to literal.  Which is also a distinct possibility.

Intimidated or not, I am still going to do this.  Why?

I used to draw.  In fact, it is how I made my living in college.  I illustrated archaeological reports.  Since it quit that job?  I almost never draw.

Add to this the fact that I seldom write just for fun.  I need to do something creative for fun so . . . I may be entirely outclassed but I’m going to do it.  Like my grandaddy always said, “This child has got way more gumption than sense.”  I’m going to proceed as if that was a compliment.

I’ve been playing with the idea of fairy tales and fables in part because of this interview I did over on WOW. I’ve also been reading up on how to write graphic novels and comics.  It is a form that fascinates me.  So I’ve been thinking a lot about those art styles.  At this point, I have no art style . . . by the end of the month?  I’ll probably still not have a style but I’ll have 31 really bad ink drawings.

For today’s prompt, I immediately thought of the poison apple in Snow White.  This also prompted an idea for a picture book (The Poison Persimmon: An Ozark Cinderella) and a political cartoon.  I have yet to try to draw the political cartoon, but here is my first pen and ink drawing.

I may not be a budding illustrator, but ideas for two drawings and a picture book?  Not bad.  What creative things do you do for fun?



October 11, 2017

3 Places to Turn for Story Ideas

One of my friends and I ended up chatting about idea generation yesterday.  I may go a week or so without an idea.  But then I have 5 or so in a day.  I keep a list, starting a new list each year.  So far the one for 237 ideas on it.  This morning it had 232.

Where do I get my ideas?  Because I write so much nonfiction, any time I’m at a museum or reading an article, a new idea might be just around the corner.  Others, some nonfiction and some fiction, are inspired by a line of text in a story.  Or something I overhear.  I’m a touch dyslexic so when I’m especially tired I tend to misread things.  That’s led to a lot of wacky story ideas.

If you are someone who could use a spot of help when it comes to idea generation, here are three places you can turn:

Editor Alli Brydon will be posting a writing prompt for children’s literature every Monday on Twitter.  You can either follow @allibrydon or search on #kidlitbot.  Read more about this new initiative here on Tara Lazar’s blog.

Inktober is a month-long illustration challenge.  You can read a bit about it here or search for illustrations from participating illustrators on Twitter (#inktober).  A friend of mine, Katie Wools, is participating so I’ve seen her illustrations and noticed several more on Twitter.  I did a search and couldn’t believe the enormous variety of work both in topic and in style.  Check it out and you are sure to come up with some ideas.

Last but not least, don’t’ forget about Illustration Friday.  This is a weekly illustration prompt.  I hesitate to say always but I think it is always a single word prompt.  Use that word to generate your own ideas.  Or look through the work presented.  Like Inktober, the range of topics and styles is vast.

Enjoy following the trail of great illustrations to a new idea of your own!


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