Are you an aspiring or emerging children’s book author? Not too sure of what you have to do? How do you write that opening sentence? What is a story board? Do I need one? How do I work with an illustrator? Do I need to find one? What are agents looking for?
The answers to these questions, and more, are just ahead.
Writing Picture Books
Opening sentences are important for every story, every novel—and this includes Picture Books. Find out the various types of sentences you can use for your opening line, and why they are so important in Chitra Soundar’s post, ‘Opening Sentences in Picture Books’.
Story Boards. Not just for Illustrators
Tara Lazar from Writing for Kids (While Raising Them) has a great site packed full of wonderful tips and advice. In Tara’s article Picture Book Construction. Know Your Layout, she said an editor told her that, “Page turns can make or break a book, and it can be helpful to an editor to see how you envision the text.” See the entire article to see what other pearls of wisdom Tara has to offer.
What is a story board? Why do I need to make one? How do I make one?
Storyboards are very helpful for writers for pacing and identifying the all important ‘page turns’. Virginia Lowe from Create a Kids Book says that, “If you are keen to write a picture book, you need to know how one is put together. The storyboard will help you visualize the manuscript as a picture book, with illustrations telling at least half of the story. The process sounds complicated, but it is the single most important thing you can do to ensure your text works.”
In the post, Virginia Lowe encourages “the author to think of the text as a picture book, not just as a short story,” Virginia goes into detail as to why a picture book author should create a picture book story board.
Don’t know how to make a story board. In this article, Virginia describes how to make your storyboard using A3 paper.
Working with an illustrator
Marlo Garnsworthy has brilliant tips on her blog 10 Things to Know When Working with an Illustrator. These are well worth checking out. They cover everything from: when working with a traditional publisher, they will find an illustrator for you; if your script needs illustration notes, how to write them; how to engage an illustrator if you are self-publishing; and then the 10 plus a bonus #things to keep in mind.
How to find a children’s book illustrator
Tania McCartney offers many valuable insights into the ‘literary ocean’ of finding a children’s book illustrator, how much illustrators can charge, as well as where to go for advice in her article, ‘How do I Find a Children’s Book Illustrator?’
For illustrators: Lucinda Gifford: 9 Rules of Illustration Practice for Those Who Are Actually Illustrating Now
And Some Final Advice for Advice for Aspiring Picture Book Authors from Jacinta de Mase, and four other agents.
What are agents looking for? What do they want? Find out in Advice for Aspiring Picture Book Authors.
I hope that this has sorted out a few issues for you, and has answered some of your questions. And as always…happy writing.