Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Itsy Bitsy PB TIP

A lot of writers make dummies for their picture books.

I don't draw. Or even sketch. Although I suppose I could make one up with just the text.

However, there's an easier and faster way to make sure you have enough unique scenes and to check your pacing at the same time. Here's how:

1. Grab a picture book off your shelf.

2. Flip past the end pages and title page until you come to the first page of story text.

3. Begin reading aloud from YOUR pb manuscript. (As if you are reading it to a group of children).

4. When you get to a pause in your manuscript, turn the page in the book you are holding. Although editors ultimately have the say on when page turn occur, this is a great exercise.

5. Keep reading and keep turning the pages until you have finished reading your manuscript.

6. Analyze your findings. Do you need more scenes? Do you have too many? Does the story flow well?

By pretending my manuscripts are actual books, ie, turning real pages between my fingers, I see things in a whole new light. And sometimes, I even discover new words or scenes that find their way out of my mouth while I am doing it.

Try it. It's magical!