Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Storystorm Day #23: There Was An Artist

After reading Tara Lazar's Storystorm interview of Adam Grant, I took to heart his assertion that "being original isn’t about being first—it’s about being different and better," and decided to write one of the most common types of picture books there is: the alphabet book. Except that I would come up with a unique twist that would set it apart. What I came up with was the idea of describing bits of a painting (the Artist would be the A that started the book) alphabetical item by alphabetical item, and then show the entire painting at the end.

I worked on this a while, but it got pretty hard pretty fast, and I had no idea how I was going to end this concept with X, Y, and Z! So I dropped the idea of doing it alphabetically, and ended up with something much better.

I'm still beginning with the artist and describing bits of his painting, but after dropping the alphabetical ordering of items, I added two other elements that I'm really excited about: The whole text is now a single complex sentence, though it's meted out in small, easy to read clauses and phrases, and the point of view undergoes two transformations, beginning with a boat on a lake, then broadening to the window of a cabin that contains the view of the boat on the lake, and then returning to the mind and canvas of the painter.

I'm really happy with the final text, which is simple and yet complex in multiple ways. And I think there must be a lesson or two about creativity in how I got from point A to point...Blue?

Here's how it begins:
There was an artist 
who painted a boat 
that held two fishers 
afloat on a lake 
surrounded by mountains 
beneath the blue, blue sky
And I might still try to write the alphabetical version some day!