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– 32 page standard layout
– Text of a picture book should be short: no more than 500-1000 words
– Standalone pages or 2 page spread where a specific message is shared between two pages.
– 4-5 pages for then has 27-28 to carry title page, a half-title page, and a copyright page
– The typical picture book should be aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 6.
– Submit content to cover 27 pg. manuscript pgs. in standard manuscript format.
– When writing text, you’ll leave visual details to the illustrator
– Unless it is a folk or fairy tale, characters are usually children
– The text per page is rarely more than a paragraph consisting of three to five lines.
– Book character needs to be someone who the child reader can relate to.
– Format the text in block paragraph style, with each block representing a page.
– Follow each text block with a parenthetical. The text within the parenthetical should direct the reader (an editor) to the illustration that will accompany the text. Example: (Illus. 1). Be sure that each of your illustrations is labeled accordingly.
– Writing about things that interest them and writing from their perspective.
– Can the adult stand to read this 100 times?
– Tie book into a curriculum need, it will help sell your picture book
– Plot what want more than anything
Climax / Resolution
– Editors prefer character-driven plots.
– Your picture book must flow straight from beginning to end. You don’t have the space for flashbacks or subplots. Omit characters who only play bit parts.
– Does the main character solve the problem? (No fair bringing in parents, adults, older siblings, etc.)
Do the complications get worse and worse, building to a climax?
Does the character actually want/fear something?
Have you provided the most interesting, least clichéd complications possible? (Or at least done the clichéd things in the most interesting vocabulary possible?
-Your breakdown might look like this:
Introduce character and problem: 3 spreads
First attempt to solve problem and failure/complication: 3 spreads
Second attempt and failure/complication: 3 spreads
Third attempt and success: 3 spreads
Resolution: 2 spreads
– Story there must be a main character who has a conflict or problem that is introduced in the beginning, dealt with in the middle, and resolved by the main character toward the end of the middle (at the “climax” or “black moment”) and ends with the main character having grown or learned some lesson.
– You can tell readers a lot about a character by the name you choose
– make your writing dance is through onomatopoeia, or sound words. Which would you rather read about?
A horse prancing clippity clop?
Or a horse walking down the road?
– It is important that your story reads well aloud, that it has a lovely flow and rhythm. Hence, sentences should be short and easy to understand.
– Repetition of a sentence (or sentences) is popular in picture books as it adds to the rhythm and children enjoy joining in.
– Try to stretch the setting, yet keep something familiar.
– Use alliteration in the title (Harriet’s Horrible Hair Day) or in the text. Alliteration creates a humorous cadence. It’s attention-getting as well as an excellent method of exploring sounds
– Encourage the reader to turn pages. One page-turning enticement is to use ellipsis (three dots . . .). Partially write a sentence, use the dots, and finish the sentence on the following page. Combine the ellipsis with transition words such as and . . . then . . . but.
– Cut in Picture Book Text in Half to help cut out unessentials from the text.
– The last page of a picture book is a left-hand single page. Consider ways to use this last chance to connect with the readers.
– Readandreadandreadandread to learn as many different ways of using language as possible.
– It’s useful to make your own mock-book, copying from a real book
– Put it away for a week or two, even a month. This distance will allow you to return to it with fresh eyes
– Read as many books as possible of the same kind as you have written yourself.
– Look at who publishes books you like. Research those publishers on the net.
– Read as many good books on the craft of writing as possible, especially in the genre you in which you want to write.
– Read as many books as possible in the genre in which you wish to write.
– Be persistent. It is not easy to have a manuscript accepted.
Picture Book Structure: http://www.darcypattison.com/picture-books/picture-book-standards-32-pages/
So you want to write a picture book… : http://www.memfox.com/so-you-want-to-write-a-picture-book.html
Putting the Picture in Picture Books: http://www.darcypattison.com/picture-books/putting-the-picture-in-picture-books/
TIPS FOR WRITING A SUCCESSFUL PICTURE BOOK: http://www.dlstewart.com/picbooktips.htm
The Dual Audience for Picture Books: http://www.darcypattison.com/picture-books/the-dual-audience-for-picture-books/
Check Your Picture Book’s Story Arc: http://www.darcypattison.com/picture-books/check-your-picture-books-story-arc/
Picture Book Settings: http://www.darcypattison.com/picture-books/picture-book-settings/
Writing Picture books: http://www.marisamontes.com/writing_picture_books.htm
How to write a picture book: http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/27-FE2-HowToWritePictureBook.html
Writing Children’s Books: http://www.robynopie.com/articles/writingforchildren_howtowritepicturebooks.htm
How to Write Picture Book Manuscripts: http://www.ehow.com/how_6947842_write-picture-book-manuscripts.html
How to : Format a Manuscript for a Children’s Book Editor and Agent: http://www.ehow.com/how_5922491_format-children_s-book-editor-agent.html#ixzz2Pugo6kYK
Publishers’ Guidelines for Writing Children’s Books:http://www.ehow.com/way_5317437_publishers-guidelines-writing-childrens-books.html#ixzz2PuhMvVAa
How to Format Your Manuscript: http://www.ehow.com/video_4970930_format-manuscript.html
How to Write a Book Manuscript: http://www.ehow.com/video_4974749_write-book-manuscript.html
Twenty Tips for Writing Picture Books: http://www.leeandlow.com/p/20tips.mhtml
Writing, Illustrating, and Publishing Children’s books: http://www.underdown.org/