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KidLit & Cartoon Characters Turned Into Monsters

From Dennis Carlsson and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda. You’ll never think about Winnie the Pooh the same way again… Now you know why Eeyore is grumpy.

“Take a look at these terrifying pictures to see what we mean, although be warned, they’re pretty damn creepy. They were drawn by Swedish illustrator and tattoo artist Dennis Carlsson, who uses his skills to add a nightmarish twist to traditionally cute and cuddly characters. From Winnie the Pooh, Pikachu, and Totoro, to Monsters Inc and Lilo (well, a piece of Lilo…) and Stitch, Carlsson’s hellish reimaginings are sure to send a shiver up your spine. So watch out the next time you’re out looking for Pokemon…because Pokemon might also be looking for you…”

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons 

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons 

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons


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So You Want to Write a Picture Book?

Republished from http://thewritelife.com/write-picture-book/

How do you win a marathon? You run really fast for 26.2 miles without stopping.

Like winning a marathon, writing is easy to describe, but hard to execute.

Writing a good book is a magical art that blends creating interesting characters, placing them in intriguing settings, and weaving an engaging plot with page-turning action and authentic dialogue. Easy, right? Not so much.

And if writing well wasn’t difficult enough, writing picture books puts additional limits on the author. These children’s books are shorter than adult books, so there’s much less time for story arc or character development. The author is further constrained by the audience’s age; most kids won’t understand adult vocabulary, scenarios, or themes.

Think you’re ready to try your hand at writing a picture book? Here’s what you need to know.

What exactly is a picture book?

Picture books are typically, but not always, 32 pages. They are published in larger trim sizes (e.g. 8.5” x 11”) and can contain anywhere from zero to 1,000 words. Word counts under 500 are most common.

Picture books are anomalous in that they can be written at a reading level higher than the age of the intended audience. That’s because picture books, unlike easy readers through YA, are often read to a child by an adult. That said, truly timeless picture books, like Where the Wild Things Are or A Sick Day for Amos McGee can be enjoyed by kids of any age.

max

As the name suggests, these books have pictures on every page. Illustrations help tell the story, describe the setting, set the mood, and convey information about the characters. They provide visual appeal to young readers, and help the author tell a story in fewer words. Ironically, an artist illustrates a picture book after the manuscript is accepted by a publisher. So, it’s common for a picture book author and illustrator to never meet or even speak with each other!

While there is no formulaic prescription for writing a picture book, certain crucial elements should be considered: plot type, genre, setting, theme, appealing main character, point of view and tense, word choice, love/friendship, re-readability, and satisfying ending.

Plot type

Which picture book plot type is best for your story?

Often called a sausage story, a “series of events” is just that, a string of small episodes, as in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. “Discovery” plot types begin with the character laboring under a misunderstanding. Eventually, they discover something and reverse their situation or outlook, as in Green Eggs and Ham.

“Wish fulfillment” plot types have a deserving main character wish for something and subsequently receive it, as in Cinderella. Contrast that with “purpose achieved” plots, where the main character has to struggle to attain a goal, as in Swimmy.

swimmy

Genre

Choose your story’s type of fiction, such as fairy tale, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, humor, mystery, mythology, poetry or science fiction. In my own writing, I don’t pick the genre first. I devise story concepts, then see what genre fits best, but some writers prefer to plan their genre before outlining their story.

In some cases, the choice of setting (Alpha Centauri = science fiction) or main character (Abraham Lincoln = historical fiction) dictates the genre. And yes, you can write horror, but it should be mild and humorous — more like There Was an Old Monster than The Call of Cthulhu.

oldmonster

Setting

Picture books generally occur within a single setting. What is the best time and place for the story to occur — on a farm (Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type), in a medieval castle, aboard a pirate ship in the Caribbean, or on a spaceship orbiting Mars?

clickclack

Theme

What positive message will the story convey? Examples include: beauty is in the eye of the beholder (Shrek), do unto others (How the Rhino Got His Skin), look before you leap (Curious George), and so on.

RhinoFront72small

Main character

Is the main character interesting or endearing enough that the readers care about what happens to him/her? Can readers easily imagine themselves within the story?

Main characters in picture books are usually the same age as the readers, typically either kids or animals. Rarely are they adults or inanimate objects, but there are exceptions: The Day the Crayons Quit features crayon characters. For character naming tips, see 6 Creative Ways to Name Your Fictional Characters.

Day-the-Crayons-Quit-illustration-2

Point of view and tense

Which point of view and tense are most effective for this story: first-person present tense, second-person future tense, third-person past tense? Be consistent once that choice is made.

Word choice

It is far more powerful to show than to tell. Anton Chekhov said, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

The low word count of picture books requires the author to be scrupulous in their word selectionDon’t dilute the impact of your writing with weak words.

Consider “the sun had nearly set” with “the sun kissed the horizon.” Characters should act, not get ready to act. Use strong, descriptive verbs. Contrast “Josh started to get up” with “Josh vaulted up.”

Love/friendship

Does the story feature love or friendship that resonates at an emotional level? Is there a strong bond between characters (Frog and Toad) or an enduring message (The Little Engine That Could)? Will readers laugh (Flap Your Wings) or have a catch in their throats (The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore)? Love and friendship help form a bond between the reader and the story.

frogandtoad

Satisfying ending

Is there an unexpected twist (The Monster at the End of This Book) or satisfying payoff (I Want My Hat Back) at the conclusion of the story? A satisfying ending is the unexpected surprise that completes the child’s reading experience. It is the cherry on top of a good story.

hatback

Re-readability

Re-readability can’t be added to the recipe like any other ingredient. Rather, it is the result of considering all of the above elements.

Is the tapestry you’ve woven rich enough to warrant multiple readings? The ultimate proof that you’ve written an engaging and entertaining story is that kids read it over and over. 

While at first glance it may not seem like it, a great deal of thought goes into the few words that comprise a picture book. Every single word counts.Shakespeare was right when he said, “brevity is the soul of wit.” And as far as we know, he never even wrote a picture book.

Click to Tweet: So You Want to Write a Picture Book for Children? at http://wp.me/p31Xf4-Es via @Nimpentoad


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Illustrated Quotes from Shrek

One of the greatest animated films of all time, Shrek had terrific animation and humor. Here are some amusing quotes:

onions

Shrek: For your information, there’s a lot more to ogres than people think.
Donkey: Example?
Shrek: Example… uh… ogres are like onions!
[holds up an onion, which Donkey sniffs]
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes… No!
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry?
Shrek: No!
Donkey: Oh, you leave ’em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin’ little white hairs…
Shrek: [peels an onion] NO! Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
[walks off]
Donkey: Oh, you both have LAYERS. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions. What about cake? Everybody loves cake!
Shrek: I don’t care what everyone else likes! Ogres are not like cakes.
Donkey: You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “Hell no, I don’t like no parfait”? Parfaits are delicious!
Shrek: NO! You dense, irritating, miniature beast of burden! Ogres are like onions! End of story! Bye-bye! See ya later.
Donkey: Parfait’s gotta be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet!

duloc
Donkey: Hey, look at this!
[he goes up to an information booth and pulls a lever. After some clicking, many mechanized marionettes pop out and begin singing]
Clockwork Chorus: Welcome to Duloc, such a perfect town / Here we have some rules, let us lay them down: / Don’t make waves, stay in line / And we’ll get along fine / Duloc is a perfect place
Clockwork Chorus: Please keep off of the grass / Shine your shoes, wipe your… FACE! / Duloc is, Duloc is / Duloc is a perfect… place!
[the booth takes Donkey and Shrek’s photo, showing them stunned]
Donkey: Wow. Let’s do that again!
Shrek: [grabs Donkey] No! No, no no no. No.

burp
[Shrek burps in front of Donkey and Fiona]
The Donkey: Shrek!
Shrek: What? It’s a compliment. Better out than in, I always say.
The Donkey: But that’s no way to behave in front of a princess.
[Fiona burps louder]
Princess Fiona: Thanks.
The Donkey: [to Shrek] She’s as nasty as you are.

BlueFlowerRedThorns
Donkey: Blue flower, red thorns. Blue flower, red thorns. Blue flower, red thorns. Man, this would be so much easier if I wasn’t COLOR-BLIND!

farquadinbed
Magic Mirror: [telling Lord Farquaad about his bachelorettes] So, just sit back and relax, my Lord, because I’m about to give you today’s three eligible bachelorettes.
[the mirror shows images of Cinderella]
Magic Mirror: Our first bachelorette is a mentally abused shut-in from a kingdom far, far away. She likes sushi and hot-tubbing any time. Her hobbies include cooking and cleaning for her two evil sisters. Let’s hear it for Cinderella!
[changes to images of Snow White]
Magic Mirror: Bachelorette number two is a cape-wearing girl from the Land of Fantasy. Although she lives with seven other men, she’s not easy. Just kiss her frozen, dead lips and find out what a live wire she is. Give it up for Snow White!
[changes to Princess Fiona]
Magic Mirror: And last but not least is a fiery redhead who lives in a dragon-guarded castle surrounded by a boiling lake of lava! But don’t let that cool you off. She’s a loaded pistol who likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain. Yours for the rescuing: Princess Fiona! So, who will it be? Bachelorette #1? Bechelorette #2? Or Bachelorette #3?
[Farquaad’s advisors start calling out their choices, with Thelonious saying “#3”]
Lord Farquaad: Uhhh, Number 3!
Magic Mirror: Lord Farquaad, you have chosen… Princess Fiona.

LittleofHim
Princess Fiona: The sooner we get to Duloc, the better!
Donkey: Oh, you gonna love it there, Princess, it’s beautiful!
Princess Fiona: And my groom-to-be Lord Farquaad, what’s he like?
Shrek: Well, let me put it this way, Princess: men of his stature are in “short” supply.
[chortles]
Donkey: Yeah! Though there are those who think “little” of him!
[laughs]

CrackOneOff

[as they approach Fiona’s castle, Donkey smells the air]
Donkey: Whoa, Shrek, did you do that? Man, you gotta warn somebody before you crack one like that, my mouth was open and everything!
Shrek: Donkey, if that was me, you’d be dead!
[sniffs]
Shrek: That’s brimstone… we must be getting close.
Donkey: Yeah, right, brimstone. Don’t be talking about no brimstone. I know what I smelled, it wasn’t no brim and it didn’t come off no stone neither…

PriceImWillingToPay

Lord Farquaad: [to his knights] The winner of this tournament – no, no, the privilege – will have the honour of rescuing the beautiful Princess Fiona from the fiery pit of that dragon! Should the winner fail to return, the runner-up shall take his place, and so on and so forth… Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

DidntSlayDragon
Princess Fiona: Where are you going? The exit’s over there!
Shrek: [going to save Donkey] Well, I have to save my ass.
Princess Fiona: [shocked] What kind of knight ARE you?
Shrek: One of a kind.

GingerbreadMan
Lord Farquaad: [playing with Gingy’s legs] Run, run, run as fast as you can / You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!
Gingerbread Man: You’re a monster!
Lord Farquaad: [tossing legs away] I’m not the monster here, YOU are! You and the rest of that fairytale trash, poisoning my perfect world. Now tell me, where are the others?
Gingerbread Man: Eat me!
[spits in Farquaad’s face]
Lord Farquaad: I’ve tried to be fair to you creatures, but now my patience has reached its end! Tell me, or I’ll…
[reaches down]
Gingerbread Man: NO! Not the buttons! Not my gumdrop buttons!
Lord Farquaad: All right, then! Who’s hiding them?
Gingerbread Man: Okay, I’ll tell you… Do you know… the Muffin Man?
Lord Farquaad: The Muffin Man?
Gingerbread Man: The Muffin Man.
Lord Farquaad: Yes, I know the Muffin Man. W-who lives down on Drury Lane?
Gingerbread Man: Well, she’s married to the Muffin Man…
Lord Farquaad: The Muffin Man?
Gingerbread Man: THE MUFFIN MAN!
Lord Farquaad: She’s married to the Muffin Man…

MerryMen

Merry Men: [singing] Ta da, da da da da – whoo!
Monsieur Hood: I steal from the rich and give to the needy…
Merry Man: He takes a wee percentage…
Monsieur Hood: But I’m not greedy – I rescue pretty damsels, man I’m good!
Merry Men: What a guy, ha ha, Monsieur Hood!
Monsieur Hood: Break it down…
[Merry Men Irish step dance]
Monsieur Hood: I like an honest fight and a saucy little maid…
Merry Men: What he’s basically saying is he likes to get…
Monsieur Hood: Paid!
Monsieur Hood: So, when an ogre in the bush grabs a lady by the tush, that’s bad.
Merry Man: [joining in] That’s bad, that’s bad, that’s bad!
Monsieur Hood: When a beauty’s with a beast it makes me awfully mad!
Merry Men: He’s mad, he’s really, really mad!
Monsieur Hood: Now I’ll take my blade and ram it through your heart Keep your eyes on me, boys, ‘Cause I’m about to start…
[Fiona swoops in and kicks him – the music stops]
Princess Fiona: Man, that was annoying!

SaveMyAss
Princess Fiona: [hears a roar] You didn’t slay the dragon?
Shrek: It’s on my to-do list, now come on!
Princess Fiona: But this isn’t right! You’re meant to charge in, sword drawn, banners flying! That’s what all the other knights did!
Shrek: Yeah, right before they burst into flame!
[They pass a skeleton of one of the unfortunate victims]
Princess Fiona: That’s not the point…!

CarryingFIona
Shrek: Princess, I was SENT to rescue you by Lord Farquad, okay? HE’s the one that wants to marry you.
Princess Fiona: Well, why didn’t he come to rescue me?
Shrek: Good question! You can ask him that when we get there…
Princess Fiona: But I’m supposed to be rescued by my true love, not by some ogre a-a-and his PET!
Donkey: Well, so much for noble steed!
Shrek: Look, Princess, you’re not making my job any easier…
Princess Fiona: Well, I’m sorry, but your job is not my problem. You tell Lord “Far-Quad” that if he wants to rescue me PROPERLY, I’ll be waiting for him right here!
[sits down]
Shrek: Hey! I’m nobody’s messenger boy, all right? I’m a delivery boy!
Princess Fiona: You wouldn’t dare…!
[Shrek carries her off]

PickMe
Shrek: Does anyone know where this Farquaad guy is?
[Donkey jumps up and down, shouting out]
Donkey: Oh, I know! I know where he is!
Shrek: Does anyone ELSE know where to find him?
Donkey: Pick me! Pick me! Me! Me!

Click to Retweet: Illustrated Quotes from Shrek at http://wp.me/p31Xf4-CI via @Nimpentoad


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Infographic: Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror Movies Related to The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite books, and I was thinking about the movie version. It struck me that many of the actors in “The Lord of the Rings” also appear in other speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy & horror) movies. Hugo Weaving plays Elrond, but he’s also Agent Smith in “The Matrix”. Christopher Lee plays Saruman, but also appears in “Star Wars” and billions of other movies. You get the idea.

Then I recalled the Six Degrees of Separation theory. So, starting from the Tolkien fan epicenter that is “The Lord of the Rings”, I plotted out how tightly connected by their actors speculative fiction movie are. Below is an infographic that shows an initial answer. I intentionally limited the scope of my inquiry. One could easily expand the network to be more inclusive.

Instructions:
1. Click on the image below to expand the infographic. If it’s still too small, use the View-Zoom In feature of your web browser.
2. Start in the center at “The Lord of the Rings” & “The Hobbit”. Move either right or left to the actor of your choice. Then keep moving horizontally right (or left) to see how these actors link to other speculative fiction movies, and so on.
For example, Karl Urban played Eomer in “The Lord of the Rings”. He was also in “Star Trek”, as was Zoe Saldana. She was in “Avatar”, as was Sam Worthington.  And Sam was in “Clash of the Titans”.

Caveats:
1. I don’t doubt that there are mistakes or omissions. There is no need to email me and remind me of my fallibility. There is no money-back guarantee. Well, since this is free, I guess I can offer a full refund if you’re not fully satisfied.
2. A single asterisk denotes that I couldn’t help myself, and included a few select TV shows. Whatcha gonna do?
3. A double asterisk denotes that I couldn’t help myself, and included a few non-speculative fiction movies. So sue me.
4. As in any network, there can be more than one path to get from one node (movie) to another. I’ve just shown single paths.
5. This infographic is in NO way represented as exhaustive, although creating it was exhausting.
6. If you enjoy it, kindly Retweet (@Nimpentoad) or otherwise share the link with friends you think would appreciate it (or send it to enemies who would not appreciate it, but who you wish to annoy).

Click on the image below to expand it.

LOTRinfographic