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Writer's Room => Chapter Books, Easy Readers, and Middle Grade (MG) => Topic started by: christina-alexandru on February 20, 2022, 09:37 AM

Title: Hybrid Book Formatting Question
Post by: christina-alexandru on February 20, 2022, 09:37 AM
Hi Creators!

I'm working on a Realistic Fiction MG book that's hybrid (it will have drawings, short comics, doodles, etc). Think: Planet Omar, MisAdventures of Max Crumly, Dork Diaries or Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

I'm writing it, but not illustrating. The drawings/comics are a big part of the story and I see the visuals... so instead of drawing them, I'm adding them right in the manuscript as written descriptions. I put an asterisk by it to show that "this is a drawing".

Now, is this okay? Is it wrong? Is there a special format for a situation like this. Any advice and insight is appreciated. THANK YOU!

PS: The first pages of my book open with drawings of each of the main character's family member (Yes, exactly like in Planet Omar!) Instead of drawings, as mentioned above, I have labels and written descriptions.

Do these first pages (since they are visual) still count towards the "first 5 or 10 pages" of the book?
-Christina Alexandru
Title: Re: Hybrid Book Formatting Question
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on February 20, 2022, 08:48 PM
In a picture book, you usually set illustration notes in brackets and sometimes in smaller text. Not sure about novels. Usually they are done by author/illustrators. Not sure if that helps.

If the first few pages are part of the story, then they count, but you'd lay this out as a manuscript. Perhaps using a graphic novel sort of script would work. You can find some online, but something like this:

Chapter 1
Page 5:
Illustration: Description.

Page 6:
Illustration:

 Page 7
Beginning of story here. Double spaced in Times New Roman.

All of that would be on the first manuscript page. If someone can understand your story without those images, ask yourself whether you really need them.
Title: Re: Hybrid Book Formatting Question
Post by: Vijaya on February 21, 2022, 07:50 AM
Christina, since this is a MG book, I'd write the illustration notes right into the manuscript. I'd offset them them with: [ART NOTE: blah blah blah...single spaced] followed by the text of the story (double spaced). To submit, I'd follow the directions--if they're asking for a 10-pg sample, I'd give them exactly that, no more. And sometimes less, if it makes more sense to cut off earlier.

There seems to be no particular standard for graphic novels, but you might find these links helpful:
https://litreactor.com/columns/ask-the-agent-a-look-at-graphic-novel-submissions
https://www.mariavicente.com/blog/query-graphic-novels
https://larawillard.com/2016/03/14/how-to-format-and-submit-graphic-novels/

Good luck!
Title: Re: Hybrid Book Formatting Question
Post by: christina-alexandru on February 21, 2022, 10:09 AM
Debbie and Vijaya,

So glad to hear from you. Thank you for your insight in regard to my hybrid MG book! This is VERY helpful.
Thanks for the links, too.  :goldstar


Title: Re: Hybrid Book Formatting Question
Post by: kate-willis-crowley on February 27, 2022, 02:39 AM
Just to concur with what's already been said - I write this kind of book also and, where I've not yet added my illustrations, I use squared brackets for illustration notes. 👍 Best of luck with your project! 🙂