Saturday, October 3, 2009

Grandpa Bill Gets "Dummied"

This week I wrote out my "Grandpa Bill" story in dummy-book form. This means that I placed the text of the manuscript into a 32-page format (typical for most picture books). And I don't just divide the text on my manuscript page. I actually put the text onto 32 separate pages of a real book that I can "read." I always learn a ton from doing this. For instance, I'm better able to visualize the pictures that might appear on each page, and I can see where I've provided too much description, or not enough visual interest. I can also get a feel for the rhythm of the book, which is key to a great picture book writing. Even if a book doesn't rhyme (and most of mine don't), they need to have a lilting, easy speech. Or a parent will never want to read it again! We have a few of those at my house...hidden somewhere!

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