Flash fiction to picture book

Picture books from flash fiction

Picture books from flash fiction

If you read my post the other day, you’ll know I’ve been having fun with some flash fiction lately. What you may not know, is that I’ve been having trouble writing picture book manuscripts this year. Whenever I sit down with an idea, it comes across as forced and I just want to throw it out the window…

One surprising thing to come out of getting back to flash fiction is a few pieces that have the potential to be a great picture book. There are a couple that I want to edit so they read better as a picture book, but the bones of the story are there, and they are strong. I can even see illustrations in my mind.

I suppose this shouldn’t be surprising. After all, that is how “My Princess Wears a Superman Cape” started out – as a flash fiction piece that won a competition. Since writing it, it has been edited almost beyond recognition, but the bones are still there.

In some ways, picture books are flash fiction, at least in word count. Most publishers seem to want picture books that are less than 600 words, and for flash fiction, you write a piece in few words. Most of my pieces fit in that 600 word word count.

I’m also loving some of the random, or not so random, writing prompts I’ve come across. In some ways, they take pressure off to think up an idea on the spot, but they also give me enough scope to find something special to write about that is in my own style.

Obviously, there are also some pieces that would not be suitable as a picture book, at least, not one for children. But that is part of the fun. I’ve been writing short pieces for a wide range of audiences, and they have potential to be any number of different things, including picture books or even a novel.

For some of these pieces that could be picture books, I’m sitting on them for a bit before I start editing them. I’m looking forward to seeing where they go.

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  1. Melissa p Great post! I have found the same thing! Either I feel the need to take a flash fiction piece I have written and expand it into a fully-fledged novel later or it sparks an idea for a picture book and lays the foundation for it. 🙂

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