SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: benjamin-harding on May 03, 2017, 07:21 PM

Title: Introducing Myself & First Question about Balloons of Dialogue
Post by: benjamin-harding on May 03, 2017, 07:21 PM
Just joined SCBWI. Excited to have access to so much great information! Looking forward to learning a lot.

First question... (I'm sure this has been covered but I haven't found it:)  In my picture book, often the dialogue will be a balloon coming out of someone's mouth. But as I'm in early stages & submitting the text only, how do I make it clear who is saying what? I.E. This will not include the eventual images that will later make it clear who's saying what. And in the meantime, I don't wanna take up my word count with "Dave said...", etc.

Would appreciate greatly any advice on how to achieve clarity! Thank you,
Ben
Title: Re: Introducing Myself & First Question about Balloons of Dialogue
Post by: Melody on May 04, 2017, 02:42 PM
Welcome to the boards.

I will try and answer your question, but you may get more takers if you post it in the PB section of the board. Maybe you can still use the words 'Dave said' for now, but not count these words as part of your overall word count, since they won't be included in the finished product later??
Title: Re: Introducing Myself & First Question about Balloons of Dialogue
Post by: JulieM on May 04, 2017, 03:17 PM
Quotation marks will work if it is mainly just one character.
If more than one character, you could have the names for the first instance they talk, followed by first initial thereafter. (Just a suggestion.)
For example:
Dave: "I wish I could fly."
Steve: "You are not a bird so you can't fly."
D: "Bats fly, and they're not birds."
S: "Don't get technical with me, Boyo."
I submitted a ms in this format and, while the ms didn't sell, there were no negative comments (or comments at all) about this format.
Best of luck!
Title: Re: Introducing Myself & First Question about Balloons of Dialogue
Post by: benjamin-harding on May 04, 2017, 08:21 PM
Thank you! I appreciate that advice, that's what I'll do. If anyone has a chance to point me to where the PB section is for posting, that would be appreciated (sorry, total newbie here:)
Title: Re: Introducing Myself & First Question about Balloons of Dialogue
Post by: benjamin-harding on May 04, 2017, 08:23 PM
I see the correct PB section now - Thanks again!
Title: Re: Introducing Myself & First Question about Balloons of Dialogue
Post by: Stephanie Ruble on May 04, 2017, 08:40 PM
What Julie said. It's how a graphic novel or comic strip is formatted to show who is talking (which will later be shown in speech bubbles).
Title: Re: Introducing Myself & First Question about Balloons of Dialogue
Post by: AnneB on May 05, 2017, 03:57 PM
I see the correct PB section now - Thanks again!

 :yay You've passed the first hurdle, Benjamin -- you'll do fine!  :stars3

Here's another hint: if you click on your name at the right of the navy blue bar at the top of the page,  a drop-down menu appears that has links to Unread Posts (since your last visit) and Updated Posts (other posts on threads you've started or posted a comment on).  That makes things a little more manageable.
Title: Re: Introducing Myself & First Question about Balloons of Dialogue
Post by: Dionna on May 06, 2017, 05:05 AM
Welcome to the Blueboard, David!

You can simply mention in your query that you would like the dialogue to appear in speech balloons. But if you are not the illustrator, and the format is not essential to the story's telling, the illustrator, editor and art director may have  a different vision for the story. As the writer, you may not want to mention how you want the page to look until you find an agent or editor who is interested in acquiring it.

"He said/she said" dialogue tags are really not at all intrusive if used correctly. So no worries there.

Happy writing!
Title: Re: Introducing Myself & First Question about Balloons of Dialogue
Post by: Jayca on May 06, 2017, 07:25 AM
Welcome, David! There's a wealth of information here, and lots of friendly, helpful people. Good luck with your picture book!
Title: Re: Introducing Myself & First Question about Balloons of Dialogue
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on May 08, 2017, 11:09 AM
As Dionna said, this may not be up to you. I have used it for situations where all of the text is in dialog and illustration notes, or a note at the start of the story, explain the action. Those are rare instances and may make the story a harder sell.  Use with caution. Otherwise, dialog tags are your friend. Other options include using an action with the dialog in the same paragraph: Mary sniffled. "I wish things could be different."