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Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: david-poston on February 05, 2016, 01:32 AM

Title: Question
Post by: david-poston on February 05, 2016, 01:32 AM
I am working on two manuscripts at this time. I find that when I get block on one, it helps to work on the other.
My question is, can you put multi chapters in an PB? Say if the manuscript is about the 'The Little Pigs', when they go out walking, can you have them
talking to little red riding hood or others to make the story more interesting.

Thanks for any help. :thankyou
Title: Re: Question
Post by: Dionna on February 05, 2016, 03:34 AM
Howdy, David!

Not sure I understand your question. Did you mean, can a PB have chapters or characters from different fairytales?

In recently published PBs, I haven't seen chapters. In  Easy-Readers, yes.

But multiple characters found in different fairytales? Yes, I've seen that done, and I think yours is a fabulous idea. A retelling. Three Little Pigs meet (not the wolfy dude), but a little girl in a  bright red hood.

Best wishes with it!
Title: Re: Question
Post by: david-poston on February 05, 2016, 04:21 AM
That what I mean but instead of the pigs, they are the Dog family, papa, mama and baby. As for chapters, I didn't mean that. I hate auto-correct at times.
I meant characters. But if I was to go the chapter way, it would be two or three and be for the oldest age group for PB and the youngest for ER.
Title: Re: Question
Post by: Vijaya on February 05, 2016, 05:40 AM
I've not seen PBs with chapters, but I have seen some longer PBs, even from a couple of debut PB authors. If you go the chapter-book route, you'll need to control your vocabulary. They really are two very different beasts. In a PB you can lush, lyrical language because a parent/teacher will be reading it aloud to the child.

Fractured fairy tales are great fun.

Title: Re: Question
Post by: david-poston on February 05, 2016, 08:03 AM
Thanks, I may forget about the PB chapter book. At lest for PB. I am thinking of an Grimm housing development as the setting. I am thinking
of little red riding hood, the wolf, jack of 'Jack and the Beanstalk' and etc living there.
Title: Re: Question
Post by: Betsy on February 05, 2016, 09:30 AM
If you make it clever and entertaining enough, you might be able to interest a publisher. But most PBs are less than 400 words these days.
Title: Re: Question
Post by: david-poston on February 05, 2016, 10:16 AM
My first draft is 900. When I saw that the word count was so large, I look up the word count of other books of
the same subject. They counted from 32 to over 1000. With most being about 500-600 words.
Title: Re: Question
Post by: Betsy on February 05, 2016, 12:55 PM
It's not enough to look at the word count. You also have to look at the date it was published, and try to figure out when it might have been acquired (usually at least two years previous to the pub date, sometimes longer). Word lengths have been getting shorter and shorter in recent years.

Which isn't to say you absolutely couldn't sell it. Lengthier books do sell from time to time.
Title: Re: Question
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on February 15, 2016, 07:05 PM
There are lots of fractured fairy tales out there, and a bunch of picture books with chapters. Jon Scieszka's picture books come to mind. Look at examples of both and make sure yours works with the chapters and has a unique spin. Chapter breaks imply a change of venue or time, nothing more. There are no rules for chapter length. Keep everything as short as possible.
Title: Re: Question
Post by: Shelly on February 16, 2016, 07:42 PM
My first drafts are usually long and then I trim. And trim again. And again. It never ceases to amaze me how much can be conveyed in so few words. For me, a 900-word first draft could easily be trimmed down to below 600.