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Formatting PB with Dialogue / Speech Bubbles

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I'm stumped on the correct way to format a manuscript that has dialogue intended to read as a speech bubble on the page. In other words, that don't have quotation marks or attribution. Examples of books that do this would be most of Mo Willems' books (Piggy and Elephant, Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny), Peter Brown books (My Teacher is a Monster), John Klassen (I want my Hat Back)

Would you write it in script format? (ex. from Should I Share My Ice Cream?)
Penguin: Ice cream! Get your cold ice cream for a hot day!
Elephant: Oh boy, ice cream!
Elephant (to penguin): One ice cream, please!

I've searched for sample formats online but have come up empty-handed. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
#1 - October 08, 2014, 06:39 PM

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I'm not sure if there is a standard, but my editor and I have a system where narrative text is in regular font, speech bubbles are in italics followed by an em dash with the character's name who is speaking, and then I put art notes in double parentheses. I also illustrate so my editor wants a lot of art notes so she can imagine what I'm thinking, but if you don't also illustrate I would be very brief with art notes, only what is necessary to understand the ms. I would just include a note at the top of the ms what the system is.

Hope that helps!!
#2 - October 08, 2014, 09:19 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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I've done some of these as work for hire and used the script format. Have a note in your cover letter stating the reason you are using this format. The manuscripts I've used this for are entirely in this format - there may be narration, but there is no standard dialog. Art notes are included with these manuscripts.

That said, I'm not sure this is up to the author for a traditional picture book. It may be an editorial, art direction, or illustrator choice. I know of at least one case were speech bubbles were added by the illustrator to compliment the original text. If your concept can work as traditional dialog, you may want to write it that way but include the suggestion. If it can't, go with your gut.
#3 - October 12, 2014, 08:32 PM
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