Write Rhyming Picture Books That Sell!
What You’ll Learn
Diana Murray's Proven Strategy for Writing Rhyming Picture Books
If you want to write rhyming picture books, you need to understand that they take more work than picture books written in prose. You don't just need a great story. You also have to understand poetry well enough to choose the right meter to tell your story. The meter you choose will become part of your story's voice.
You've probably heard that rhyme doesn't sell.
But if you spend any time in bookstores or libraries, you know this isn't true. Rhyming picture books sell. Teachers, parents, and children love them.
So, if they do sell, why aren't editors and agents eager to see rhyming picture book submissions? The problem is that writers don't always learn how to write meter before they submit their rhyming picture books stories, and poorly written rhyme sounds even worse than poorly written prose. It sounds unnatural.
Diana's intensive will help you learn to write verse that sounds natural.
Examples from Diana's Published Picture Books
Diana shares examples from her published rhyming picture books to help students see improvements she made through revision.
She discusses the two most common types of meter and the common beat combinations found in children's books. She encourages students to practice writing both types of meter and has them scan lines to identify the meter and beats per line.
She also goes over four common pitfalls that you want to avoid when writing in verse, sharing examples.
An Outline to Make Sure Rhyme Isn't Dictating Your Story
Another common problem with rhyming picture book manuscripts is that writers let the end rhymes take their stories on tangents that don't make any sense. They let the rhyme lead the story.
In her assignment worksheets, Diana shares the paginated outline she used for her picture book, One Snowy Day. She recommends that you start with an outline of the story before you start writing in rhyme. That way, rhyme won't dictate your story. It's important to tell a great story. You need to make sure that it has a beginning, middle, and end. It has to make sense.
ABOUT THIS INTENSIVE:
Learn how to avoid the pitfalls that keep rhyming picture books from selling. Diana can help you write meter that people want to read aloud.
YOUR STORY COACH:
Diana Murray writes poetry and books for children. Her award-winning poems have appeared in magazines including Spider, Ladybug, Highlights, and High Five, as well as several anthologies. Diana recently moved from the Bronx to a nearby suburb, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a motley crew of pets. She is represented by Brianne Johnson at Writers House literary agency. Diana currently has ten picture books in print, with five more coming next year! You can learn more about Diana and her books at https://www.dianamurray.com/.
In this 22-minute intensive, you'll learn how to write in meter and use better rhyme choices without sacrificing a great story. You'll also get access to an hour replay of Diana critiquing verse written by students.
Match Meter to the Tone/Emotion of Story
Identify Two Common Picture Book Meters
Write Iambic Meter
Write Anapestic Meter
Most Common Beat Patterns for Picture Books
Scan Beats Per Line and Identify Meter
Most Common Rhyme Schemes for Picture Books
Identify Rhyme Schemes
Avoid Rhyming Pitfalls
Frequently Asked Questions
Most rhyming picture books aren't rejected because the author didn't know how to rhyme. They're rejected because the author didn't understand meter. Diana explains how to write in the two meters most commonly used in picture books. And then she gives you scanning exercises to help you retain her lessons.
If you understand meter, you've already done a lot of the work. Diana identifies four common pitfalls that she sees, and she also shows how to outline your story ahead of time. The outline keeps your story on track so that you don't just end up following where the rhyme leads you.
Picture books and poems are different art forms. Rhyming picture books usually have an identifiable story shape.