SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Hybrid Book Formatting Question

Discussion started on

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
#1 - February 20, 2022, 09:37 AM
Christina Alexandru

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
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:

 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.
#2 - February 20, 2022, 08:48 PM
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region carolinas
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:

Good luck!
#3 - February 21, 2022, 07:50 AM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags

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

#4 - February 21, 2022, 10:09 AM
Christina Alexandru

New Poster
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region britishisles
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! 🙂
#5 - February 27, 2022, 02:39 AM


0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.