WRITING TIPS - Part 2
1) Decide what kind of book it will be -- board book for very young, true picture book for ages 5-9, story picture book such as a folk tale, concept book, non-fiction.
2) Use as few words as possible. Avoid unnecessary adjectives and adverbs. Use strong, descriptive nouns and action verbs. Avoid excess description.
3) Keep illustrations in mind as you write. Each time the page turns, a new scene should appear and move the story along. Scene variety is crucial to the book's success.
4) A typical 32-page picture book has about 14 double-page illustrations. The rest of the pages are for the front matter: copyright info, title page, dedication, acknowledgements, etc.
5) Prepare a dummy (a mock picture book) to see if your scenes have variety and are well paced. DO NOT send the dummy to the publisher.
6) Double-space the manuscript. Do not send 32 pages with one sentence per page. Type out straight text and use extra spaces between lines or paragraphs to designate scene breaks. Story books such as folk tales are typed out like a short story.
7) Do not rhyme your text unless you are an expert. Study various poetry techniques and styles before attempting it in a picture book.
8) Do not send illustrations -- the publisher chooses the artist. If you are a professional artist you may send a sample of one or two scenes.
9) Picture books are a unique art form, a marriage of words and art. Unlike novels, with picture books you must take into consideration the fact that an artist will be your partner in the process. The two of you will create a piece of work that will be one unit, yet will reflect each person's individuality.
NOTE: My Blog has information about writing picture books and making a dummy.