Those of you who have read my blog from the beginning might remember this post about extraordinary author and artist, Shaun Tan. He is one of my creative heroes – and I am honored to be published by the same UK publisher, Templar Publishing.
There was brilliant news for Shaun this week when his short animated film, The Lost Thing, was nominated for an Academy Award. This film, based on the picture book of the same name, apparently took nine years to complete!
The website is beautiful and contains a movie trailer. To see it, click here – then enjoy Shaun’s stunning artwork and original ideas.
In which I deconstruct and reconstruct The Next Book.
I am on a short breather from work on my next children’s novel. This gives me a chance to stand back, tidy my workspace (and my brain).
I always find it fascinating to see how writers and artists work. Seeing sketches and scribbles others have done reminds me that we all have our own ways of creating. As I gain more experience writing novels, I am beginning to know what works best for me when I am plotting or rewriting. I am definitely a mind mapper. Maybe this is because I am used to drawing ideas, so it’s logical to work in a graphical way. There’s nothing like drawing bubbles and arrows (using the all-important colored pens) on a big paper.
I took a photo of the mind map I’ve been working with on my latest manuscript. It looks like a jumble of nonsense but it’s my own kind of shorthand. I mapped out the manuscript as it was in the first draft, then marked down all the issues that needed to be resolved and possible solutions. That’s where the colored pens come in handy.
As I wrote the second draft, I often referred back to my mind map. It gave me a structure to work with and was a quick reference guide to my editors’ comments. Before I get to work on the next draft, I will take the time to make another mind map, so I know which way to go with things.
Everyone needs one of these! This little guy was given to me by the excellent Karen MacDonald, creator of Nameless Wonders
. I gave Karen a load of fabric scraps, notions and other oddments I had been hoarding in my studio. After years of good intentions, I kind of realised I would probably never make anything with those cool pieces of crushed velvet and gold braid, so I gave them to a person who would.
Lo and behold, I got this little critter from Karen. I know she must have told me what species he is, but I can’t remember. He/she/it has a bit of rat-ness, mouse-ness and slight fox-ness with the long tail (you can’t see that), furry body and ears. I like the fried egg/daisy quality of the eyes and the unhinged red grin. Perfect for me!
I must come up with a suitable name…