Monday, July 23, 2012

Write a Children’s Book in 14 Days!


Is it possible? Can you do it?

This summer, I bought the software program, How to Write a Children’s Book in 14 Days (or Less!) by Mel McIntyre.  I imagine that many aspiring writers have done the same thing, but how many actually go through each lesson and complete them all -- in two weeks? It’s not easy! It’s very important to set aside time each day during those two weeks. Otherwise, you might not be able to complete the program in the allotted time.

I also am a member of the Working Writers Club and took this class with Suzanne Lieurance.  Suzanne was our coach during the 14 days.  After we registered, she sent us a syllabus and schedule. This was a serious undertaking!

Suzanne also instructed us to read the entire textbook prior to the start of the class. I read most of it. Hmmm . . . there’s that time thing again! However, I did get a good understanding of what to expect during the two weeks.

Suzanne recommended we do some additional reading before we began the class. In the text, Mel gave examples of children’s books. I went to the library and checked out several of the titles she mentioned and read them. I got a better idea of how children’s books are written.

Last year, I started an idea notebook and file for the books I want to write, so I already had something in mind before the class.  I thought it would make the project easier. (I did say this wasn’t easy, didn’t I?)

During the two weeks, Suzanne, my classmates and I, had daily conference calls to discuss assignments, problems, etc.  I was able to participate in most of those calls. There is that time thing again! While the calls were recorded and could be listened to at a more convenient hour, I felt it was important to be there “live.” Luckily, I did not have many appointments or meetings scheduled for those two weeks. On the days that I was not available, I listened to most of the recordings. I think I missed one or two.

I enjoyed using the software program, being part of a class, and Suzanne’s coaching. I got alot out of the experience. But I also hit writers block after one week! My brain did not want to cooperate anymore. I found it difficult to do the daily assignments, but I did what I could.

I’ve been giving my brain a rest and I plan to tackle the program on my own next month.  I will try to complete it in four weeks. This will allow me extra time for the other things that happen in my life, yet gives me a calendar goal to reach.  

I would like to fully utilize what I learned from Mel and Suzanne. Hopefully, a second go-around will improve my writing and my manuscript will be that much closer to being submitted and published.

Debbie A. Byrne has a B.S. in Mass Communication with a minor in History. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is currently working on her first children’s book.

7 comments:

  1. Two weeks sounds like a real push. Congratulations on finishing the program, and good luck with your book.

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  2. Sounds like a good way to get that story down on paper! Thanks for sharing this with us.

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  3. Congratulations on what you did get done. A push like that in the "middle of ones life" can be overwhelmning

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  4. Wow - sounds like an interesting course and you really put it through its paces.

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  5. Debbie, good for you. I know Suzanne is an excellent instructor.

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  6. Gosh Debbie, that does sound like a load of work to do in the time--congratulations on doing so much and keeping on going regardless. Thanks too for sharing such an interesting experience.

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  7. Thank you for your comments.

    Correction: Mel is a man. I see I typed the word "she" in referring to Mel. Oops! I do recommend Mel and *his* software program, as well as The Working Writers Club that Suzanne Lieurance runs. I realize that others get writers block, stressed, busy, etc. Hopefully, anyone who has purchased the program or is considering it, will give it a second chance if they run into the same problems I did. I recently returned from an all day picture book workshop and am hoping that will also help me push forward with my project. That will be next month's post I think!

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