Monday, October 28, 2013

What's Your Game Plan for Your November Challenge?

By Stacy S. Jensen

October is a busy month.

In addition to stockpiling candy for my late night writing (or neighborhood kids in need of a treat), it's the month before one of the biggest writing challenges of the year PiBoIdMo.

I don't participate in National Novel Writing Month. I pledge my November writing allegiance to PiBoIdMo or Picture Book Idea Month. It's one of the many spin-offs from the fabulous NaNoWriMo event that gets writers...writing.

PiBoIdMo, created by author Tara Lazar is a blessing for me. The challenge is to write a picture book story idea each day of November. The daily ritual of thinking about stories and writing them down carries over throughout the year. If an idea strikes, I write it down.

Tara also hosts a wide variety of published authors on her blog to share tips about writing picture books and to inspire all the participants to keep writing.

This will be my third year as a participant and, hopefully, another winner!

In October, I'm going through my previous year list of ideas in preparation for the challenge. I plan to organize them into types of books — like concept, fiction and non-fiction.

I want to expand at least five ideas by completing some pre-writing work, including character sheets, titles, and pitch lines. My goal is to find five solid ideas that are fresh — not recently on the market. I may write a draft, but I have a few others under revisions. This goal is to keep me moving forward as I get ready for November.

When PiBoIdMo begins on November 1, I want to add another layer to my daily idea challenge. I will add titles and loglines for my manuscript ideas.

In the past, I've looked at some ideas post-PiBoIdMo and thought, "Now what was I thinking?"
My goal is to dig a little deeper when I write down an idea. More information gathered with my idea should help me create a better first draft. Yes. It will likely still be a "vomit" draft, but I'm hopeful it will be better.

Are you participating in a writing challenge in November? What are you doing to be ready for November 1?

About the Author: Stacy S.Jensen worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for two decades. Today, she writes picture books and revises a memoir manuscript. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and toddler.


  1. Great post, Stacy! This is my second year doing PiBoIdMo...I hovered in the wings in 2011...but kept a journal in 2012. One of those ideas became 'Visitors to Deep Pool'. I, too, need to examine that notebook because there were several other ideas that had merit. And I have my new notebook ready!

  2. I'm glad you wrote down those ideas. I love Visitors to Deep Pool. Here's to examining past ideas and to new ones!

  3. This is my first year and I'm very excited. I was so happy to realize that PiBoIdMo participants really end up with so many ideas, some of them really good.

    1. Congrats on signing up. I hope you find many new ideas in November.

  4. I'm pretty sure I'm doing NaNoWriMo...I still have a couple of days to decide. Haha. I'm in the middle of a mini writing break,which will end towards the end of November, so not sure if I should do NaNo. But I love the team effort feel of participating! Good luck on PiBoIdMo!

    1. Good luck whether you continue your break or jump into NaNoWriMo.


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