What book are you currently working on? When I get a new idea for a story, I get pretty excited. Fresh ideas are hard to generate and even more difficult to write.

I start the writing process and get through a few chapters and bam! — my story begins to take shape. I usually get to the middle or to a plotting problem before I start to look at other books in the genre I am writing. I wait because I don’t want to be influenced before my idea takes shape.

I go on Amazon.com or some other book publishing site and search. I am trying to find out if my idea is, first of all, similar in some way to other books. I am also looking for originality within that genre. Does my book pose some new question or idea that is unique. Since most writing ideas are just the same old stories retold with a twist, I have no problem finding similar stories. But all writers are always trying to share something new with their readers. That’s when it happens, I get re-inspired and the real work begins.

My new book idea is about … well, a stick boy and stick girl named Dot and Scribble. I love symbolic or literal names that make me think and re-think. The concept for the story is “what would happen if things that were drawn could come to life?” Think about it. Pictures do stir our memories. They do stretch our imaginations and inspire us. My idea is about that. I am just starting, and the story has already gone through several rewrites, but I’m making progress. 

I thought I’d share some of the other books out there that have similar themes to mine. They have really captured my interest.

Harold and the Purple Crayon is a 1955 children’s book by Crockett Johnson. Johnson’s most popular book led to a series of books, and many adaptations.

Harold and the Purple Crayon (book).jpgThe protagonist, Harold, is a curious four-year-old boy who, with his purple crayon, has the power to create a world of his own simply by drawing it.

Harold wants to go for a walk in the moonlight, but there is no moon, so he draws one. He has nowhere to walk, so he draws a path. He has many adventures looking for his room. In the end he draws his own house and bed and goes to sleep.