SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Books with Imagination/creativity as the motivation and conflict

Discussion started on

I'm currently working on a picture book with a primary focus on imagination/creativity and it's working out so far (or at least I've improved on it with the various edits) and I'm having difficulty finding inspiration or seeing how other authors deal with lack of imagination/creativity as the conflict.

I'm not talking about books which have an underlying tone of imagination/creativity where the main character goes off into a fantasy land but one where the main conflict is strives to gain creativity.

For example Not a Box didn't seem to have a narrative to me but it was interesting to imagine the box as different things. Harold and the Purple Crayon was pretty cool but the character was already imaginative in the beginning.

The only other books I've found was where a writer or artist needed to write or draw something but couldn't think of anything.
#1 - November 08, 2014, 08:07 PM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region losangeles
"What Do You Do With an Idea?" by Kobi Yamada and The Creatrilogy (The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color) by Peter H. Reynolds come to mind, but I'm not sure if these are quite what you're looking for. Still, they deal with creativity, so might be woth looking into!
#2 - November 08, 2014, 09:37 PM

I don't have suggestions  :embarassed , only a question. Does your story hinge on something being lost or changed (stakes) if the conflict (lack of creativity) doesn't get resolved?
#3 - November 09, 2014, 05:48 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

You may want to take a look at: ISH by Peter Reynolds, LOUISE LOVES ART by Kelly Light, and CRAFTY CHLOE by Kelly DiPucchio.

Or maybe THE PLOT CHICKENS, which is about some chickens trying to write a good story.
#4 - November 09, 2014, 05:58 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

Oh, and also HOUNDSLEY AND CATINA (an early reader) by James Howe.
#5 - November 09, 2014, 06:01 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

Official Shenaniganizer
Emeritus
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region canadawest
Also BATTLE BUNNY by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett is pretty brilliant.
#6 - November 09, 2014, 10:01 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
@cynmarko

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region arizona
RALPH TELLS A STORY by Abby Hanlon is about a boy who's trying to write a story, but he thinks nothing ever happens to him, so he doesn't have anything to write about. Not sure if that's what you're looking for, but thought it might be worth a mention.
#7 - November 09, 2014, 04:06 PM
BACKHOE JOE, HarperCollins, 2014
FAMOUSLY PHOEBE, Sterling, 2017
ALL IN A DROP, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019

http://www.lorialexanderbooks.com/

Rock of The Westies
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region nevada
Dan Santat's Beekle is a bit different, how imaginary friends wait to be picked. I'm not sure if it's exactly what you're looking for, but it's a different take on the theme.
#8 - November 09, 2014, 05:01 PM
Fur Balls & Feathers & Fins, Oh My! Animals Are My Kind of People
 www.cynthiakremsner.com

"What Do You Do With an Idea?" by Kobi Yamada and The Creatrilogy (The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color) by Peter H. Reynolds come to mind, but I'm not sure if these are quite what you're looking for. Still, they deal with creativity, so might be woth looking into!
I've read the What do you do with an Idea? as well as the Creatriology, both really interesting. Not really what I'm looking for since those protagonists are already creative - I'm kinda looking for a protagonist who's conflict is lack of creativity.

I don't have suggestions  :embarassed , only a question. Does your story hinge on something being lost or changed (stakes) if the conflict (lack of creativity) doesn't get resolved?
Not particularly, however that might be a fundamental problem of the story. For mine, the conflict is lack of creativity and the stakes is simply not being able to fun creativity.

Similar example: a person sees the joys of music but doesn't know how to play an instrument. That person wants to learn and would feel left out if he or she didn't learn to play. The story would be about that person feeling left out and eventually being able to play.

You may want to take a look at: ISH by Peter Reynolds, LOUISE LOVES ART by Kelly Light, and CRAFTY CHLOE by Kelly DiPucchio.

Or maybe THE PLOT CHICKENS, which is about some chickens trying to write a good story.
Hmm, I will have to check out Louise Loves Art. I've just looked at the book trailer and it seems pretty interesting.

Same with Crafty Chloe. Only just looked at Amazon previews so far.

btw, I love the title The Plot Chickens (...plot thickens, lol) Don't know anything about it yet.

Oh, and also HOUNDSLEY AND CATINA (an early reader) by James Howe.
Only looked at Amazon previews but seems cool too.

Also BATTLE BUNNY by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett is pretty brilliant.
Not quite the kinda of book I'm looking for but - yes - great idea for a book.

RALPH TELLS A STORY by Abby Hanlon is about a boy who's trying to write a story, but he thinks nothing ever happens to him, so he doesn't have anything to write about. Not sure if that's what you're looking for, but thought it might be worth a mention.
I've read that one, thanks for the (re-)suggestion.

Dan Santat's Beekle is a bit different, how imaginary friends wait to be picked. I'm not sure if it's exactly what you're looking for, but it's a different take on the theme.
Sounds great from the youtube trailer.

-

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I hope to check these books out sometime :)

I find that most of these creativity/imagination stories deal with a classroom setting. The conflicts usually revolve around a child competing a project and either they don't know what to do or what they do isn't perceived to be good enough... I'm kinda wondering if there's any creativity/imagination story that is, in itself, for the sake of creativity/imagination and that's where the conflict arises?
#9 - November 09, 2014, 06:50 PM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
There must be stories where two characters have different creative opinions. Char A wants to play plain old tag, but char B wants to play Alien Attack - essentially tag where you pretend to be aliens. These would become friendship stories since compromise is needed. Of course, I can't think of one off the top of my head. The stakes are the friendship.

Why is becoming creative important to the character/story?
#10 - November 10, 2014, 12:14 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

There must be stories where two characters have different creative opinions. Char A wants to play plain old tag, but char B wants to play Alien Attack - essentially tag where you pretend to be aliens. These would become friendship stories since compromise is needed. Of course, I can't think of one off the top of my head. The stakes are the friendship.

Why is becoming creative important to the character/story?
What I have so far is one character is creative while the other one isn't. Using your example, CharA can play alien tag and it looks like fun to CharB but when CharB tries, s/he can't do it.

The conflict lack of creativity in one character and the resolution is finding a way to get creative/imaginative and be inspired. The ultimate outcome is that both characters can play in a fun way.

Right now I'm working it as a "feeling left out" kind of story and the thing which is "left out" is make-believe play.
#11 - November 12, 2014, 03:11 PM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region westcentny
Have you read I'M BORED by Michael Black (illustrated by our Debbi Ohi!)? It might not be exactly as you describe but could offer some ideas. It's hilarious either way!
#12 - November 12, 2014, 03:35 PM
BLACKOUT -- available now
DESERTED -- available now
SISTERS DON'T TELL -- available now
www.deenalipomi.com

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
I wonder whether the focus is causing the issue. Anyone can color or paint. Anyone can play Alien Tag.

The conflict may be in the assumption of how the work should look when it's done. There is no person who lacks all creativity, but there are many who can't do the thing up to snuff. For example, when I say I can't draw, I don't mean I can't pick up the pencil and put lines on paper. I mean, you wouldn't recognize the outcome as what I planned it to be. Someone else may think it's great.

I'm curious to know how the plot really plays out.
#13 - November 17, 2014, 08:30 AM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region mddewv
Maybe this one would help: A BOOK by Mordecai Gerstein features a family living inside a picture book and the little girl asks "What's my story?" and journeys to find out.
#14 - November 18, 2014, 08:14 PM

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region arizona
Hey Robertvs -- Check out a PB title called A FEW BLOCKS. It's about an imaginative sister helping her brother get to school. Initially, he doesn't see the fantasy world they way she does (his pages are black and white; her pages are in color). Cool book! Might be closer to what you are looking for. Good luck with your story!
#15 - November 18, 2014, 08:44 PM
BACKHOE JOE, HarperCollins, 2014
FAMOUSLY PHOEBE, Sterling, 2017
ALL IN A DROP, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019

http://www.lorialexanderbooks.com/

Chidren's Friendship Expert
Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region newjersey
I'm enjoying these suggestions. Ish is one of my all-time favorite picture books.
#16 - November 18, 2014, 08:55 PM
Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD
author/psychologist
www.EileenKennedyMoore.com
www.GrowingFriendshipsBlog.com *For parents
www.DrFriendtastic.com *FOR KIDS!

Have you read I'M BORED by Michael Black (illustrated by our Debbi Ohi!)? It might not be exactly as you describe but could offer some ideas. It's hilarious either way!
Maybe this one would help: A BOOK by Mordecai Gerstein features a family living inside a picture book and the little girl asks "What's my story?" and journeys to find out.
Hey Robertvs -- Check out a PB title called A FEW BLOCKS. It's about an imaginative sister helping her brother get to school. Initially, he doesn't see the fantasy world they way she does (his pages are black and white; her pages are in color). Cool book! Might be closer to what you are looking for. Good luck with your story!
Thanks everyone, I really need to go to local library or bookstore and find all these. :)

That "A FEW BLOCKS" book sounds really interesting.

I wonder whether the focus is causing the issue. Anyone can color or paint. Anyone can play Alien Tag.

The conflict may be in the assumption of how the work should look when it's done. There is no person who lacks all creativity, but there are many who can't do the thing up to snuff. For example, when I say I can't draw, I don't mean I can't pick up the pencil and put lines on paper. I mean, you wouldn't recognize the outcome as what I planned it to be. Someone else may think it's great.

I'm curious to know how the plot really plays out.
The story I'm writing is analogous to writing a story about a writer overcoming writer's block with the aid of his or her best friend. The actual mini-conflicts are more tangible than writer's block since it's a picture book and it needs to be both interesting and illustrative, but it's still tricky as the essence of the conflict is innately internal.
#17 - November 25, 2014, 11:22 PM

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region mddewv
I would add Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills to your stack; Rocket is a dog with writer's block.
#18 - November 26, 2014, 04:56 AM

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.