Today is Day One of PiBoIdMo (Picture book idea month), created by author Tara Lazar as a NaNoWriMo alternative for picture book writers.  One picture book idea per day for 30 days.

I just created my PiBoIdMo electronic folder.  That folder now has one sub-folder holding my Day One idea – yay!  It will be inspiring to see 30 sub-folders by the end of the month and be able to cherry-pick the best to work on.  Now, I am not planning to write full drafts of each idea.  That would be crazy!  It was hard enough to do that for a week during NaPiBoWriWee.  But I am making sure I have more than just a title.  I’m fleshing out the idea a bit with bullet points, particular lines I might want to use, links to research I might refer back to, etc.  That way when I go back months weeks from now, I’ll remember what the idea was all about in the first place.

But that’s just me.  I’m sure others will approach the task differently.  So I ask you, fellow PiBoIdMo-ers, what, if any, strategies are you employing to get your ideas down this month?  Anyone planning to write drafts as they go?  Anyone going with a title and that’s it? I’m curious to know how others are tackling the assignment. I’m glad to be taking this ride with others, that’s for sure!

Also, good luck to all you NaNo-ers.  I hope to be among your ranks next year.

Categories: Children's Books, PiBoIdMo, Picture Books, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: , ,



  1. Hi Julie! I’m a fellow PiBo participant. I am doing a PiBo sketchbook this year. I want to try to put my ideas down visually with some hand drawn words also. I like your idea of the subfolders too. I might do that when I scan in my sketchbook pages. Good luck!

  2. I have a page in my journal devoted to each day and my goal is to flesh out an idea enough to fill the page. Today it was a title, brief character description and about three possibilities for where the story could go depending on the kind of conflict I introduce.

  3. i set up a scrivener project with a file for each day and, as was the case this morning, a separate file for research on a story as necessary (i have some nonfiction i think i’m going to explore). each day i’m going to enter the idea in the appropriate day and do as much as i can short of actually writing it up, though i wouldn’t discount early drafts. a summary at the least, maybe a go at how i would pitch it, and if i’m lucky, a title.

    • I’m jealous in that I’ve tried to learn how to use Scrivener and so far have failed. Seems like a great tool. I guess I may have to sit through the tutorial after all since I didn’t find it as intuitive as I had hoped…

      • there is a learning curve involved, and i’m far from using all the bells and whistles myself, but i find it’s great for storing and organizing projects and research all in one place. the ability to store web pages and photo research in particular makes it worthwhile for the nonfiction things.

  4. Good for you!!

    I feel like such a slacker now, with everyone else hard at work being creative. Revising just isn’t as much fun. But next year, we can both do NaNo together. Can’t wait to see some of your ideas! 😀

  5. Wow – these are all great ideas guys! Keep ’em coming!

  6. I feel like such a luddite. I just write the date & “DAY 1” on the top of a page in a notebook then jot down the idea and anything else I can think of as I brainstorm. I don’t usually write manuscript drafts at this point but will write down how I intend to flesh it out in the future. Sometimes I sketch too if I have a strong visual going.

    But, basically my tools are paper & pencil!

  7. Sounds like you’re all off to a grand start.

    Have fun!

  8. Oh Julie – you make my record-keeping look simplistic. I have a Word document – Title: PiBoIdMo2010 – and within that I have *Idea One:* and then jottings for that – some quirky lines I think I’ll use. Possible characters… the quote that inspired me… whatever comes to mind, really.

    I will then leave a two-line space and today type *Idea Two:* and go for it… (Each idea has a tag-title so I easily recognise it.)

    If I want to come back and add more info or fiddle around, I just hit enter to make more space – and get going.

    Sounds very basic. But I’m a Word girl – and I like to have it all there in the same doc. When I actually start writing, I will copy what I’ve written for a particular idea, paste it into a new Word (:P) document and get going.

    I too am going with ‘more’ though – wanting to have the idea fleshed out a bit. But realising it will need simmer time before I know fully where it is going.

    Oops. I wrote an essay for you…

    • Kat – mine are Word docs too. I created a folder called PiBoIdMo and then I’ll have a sub-folder for each day that will be the working title of the PB.

      I only WISH I could use something fancy like Scrivener…

  9. I to have 1 document titled piboidmo 2010 and I’m listing them 1 through to 30.
    Possible title. then anything that comes to mind . complete mish mash. then I save and go back to my NaNoWriMo writing.
    Love a month of focused creativity

  10. Just paper and pencil here. Short snippets. No conflict possibilities mapped out. I’m keepin’ it as simple as possible as I have too much other stuff going on right now. But I do have three ideas already. I figure the good ones won’t disappear. A snippet will be good enough to nudge the brain into memory – especially if it’s a good one, right?

  11. i love hearing everyone’s work habits. Mine are very similar to Kat’s at the moment – just a Word doc with idea one, two and so on. Maybe it will change as the month progresses.

    At the moment this is the busiest time of year for me so I am just writing down phrases, ideas, prospective titles etc. No time for drafting or fleshing out the stories yet. Will hopefully add to each idea as the month progresses and when I have more time.

    Great fun though!

  12. Look at all you industrious people!

    I am just keeping a list of the ideas in one Word document. My method is similar to Kat’s. 🙂

    This month is horrendously busy for me, so I doubt I’ll have a chance to flesh out the stories. My first two days have just been ‘a story about … ‘ sort of things. But often I come up with a title before the story idea, so I’m expecting a few of those.

    Happy writing!

  13. I created a private blog last year in honor of PiBoIdMo. It’s one of those kind of blogs, an address that’s not fouling anyone up and is just for me, it’s password protected and easy to search.

    I posted every day last November. Each post has the name of the idea in the title. I tag the posts with their names, subjects and process level (a system i invented last year too). As I create illustrations or flesh out ideas over the year I go back and edit the posts, making them shiny and real. After 30 ideas and tons of scribbling, it’s a relief to just look at a simple blog archive list and a collection of ideas that I can see at a glance.

    • Wow – a private blog! I didn’t even know you could do that. A very creative way to keep track. Are you doing that again this year?

  14. I am with Christie – just using a page in my journal. I am writing whatever comes up at the time. That may be just an idea, a few words, or if more details present themselves, then I will write those. I am just excited to be participating!

  15. Whilst I am a total ‘Word’ girl, I have always been happier jotting picture book ideas onto paper, where I can sketch things and brainstorm.

    I always have a notebook and pen with me for any ideas or snippets and now I am dedicating a page a day for an idea and any additional thoughts I have can go underneath.

    Hopefully it will work! (apologies for the lengthy post!)

    Good luck everyone!

  16. Lots of pen and paper folks here. I like writing that way too, but then I have a nasty habit of losing/misplacing the journal. So I’ve discontinued doing any “important” writing that way. Plus my handwriting is terrible!

  17. I keep a Word Doc of ideas open at all times. This is a doc I started back in 2008 and I just keep adding to it. It keeps all my ideas in one neat little place. I skim through it occasionally to get new ideas or to start writing a new manuscript.

  18. What an excellent idea! I’ll bet at the end of 30 days, you’ll have lots of gems to work with. Good luck to you!

  19. That Scrivener sounds good, I’ll definitely check it out. I’ve just written a few lines in one document in a PiBoldMo folder, not the best way but nevermind. My favorites list is in more urgent need of organising. (going there now – honest!)

  20. I love this, what a great idea! I hadn’t heard about it until you posted something about it a while back. Best of luck, can’t wait to hear what you think!

    Oh, and the NaNoWriMo is just crazy so far…I’m not keeping up on word count yet, and what I’m writing is pretty bad! But I AM writing, and that’s the point.

    Have fun, Julie!

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