Over the past year, I’ve written several posts about finding ideas. Following up on my ruminations on cultivating your creative spark, this month, I’m focusing on the top five considerations for turning those ideas into drafts. In other words, how do we move from inspiration to manuscript?

1. Evaluate all your ideas.

  • Are all the ideas marketable?
  • Are the ideas interesting to children?
  • Can you develop a hook for each idea that will draw the reader in?
  • Do the ideas include themes that will resonate with young readers?

2. Pick your top five ideas.

  • For each, jot down a few thoughts.
  • Perhaps about characters, setting, and plot?
  • Flesh out the conflict.
  • Does the idea spark dialogue or a scene?
  • Include anything that will add to the potential of the idea.

3. Narrow down your choices to your favorite two ideas.

  • Can you expand a bit on your free-flowing brainstorming from the above steps?
  • Maybe add point of view? A first line? A title?
  • Can you add in some wordplay or lyrical language?

4. Choose one idea.

  • Which idea is calling to you?
  • Which idea do you just have to write about?
  • Which idea won’t let go of your imagination?
  • Which idea can you visualize as a book?

5. Start writing.

  • And revising.
  • And polishing.
  • Then repeat with the rest of your wonderful ideas.

Happy creating!