In my picture book, Imagine That! How Dr. Seuss wrote 'The Cat in the Hat', I include five writing tips that I distilled from Dr. Seuss’s interviews and from the recollections of his friends and family. Here’s a little more about the third tip:
Tip #3: Stir up story ideas by doodling
“[My books] always start as a doodle,” declared Dr. Seuss. “I may doodle a couple of animals. If they bite each other, it’s going to be a good book. If you doodle enough, the characters begin to take over by themselves—after a year and a half or so.”
(I love these wacky descriptions of his creative process.)
Also, according to Dr. Seuss, drawing was the easy part of creating a picture book. It was the writing that was difficult.
Blogger’s note: I agree that doodles are very useful. Even though I am not an illustrator, my story ideas almost always begin as doodles on paper, or as little cartoons in my head. I continue doodling as I expand the story ideas, too.
I am a children's book author and folklorist based in Portland, Oregon.
Imagine That! How Dr. Seuss Wrote 'The Cat in the Hat"
Random House, 2018. Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes.
*Starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Kirkus.
The Great Dictionary Caper, illustrated by Eric Comstock (Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster)
On sale January 23, 2018. **Starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist.
Wild About Books, illustrated by Marc Brown. Winner of the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award.