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Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: 217mom on June 26, 2017, 06:51 PM

Title: Feeling rusty... How many illustration possibilities have you aimed for?
Post by: 217mom on June 26, 2017, 06:51 PM
I have spent the last two years knee-deep in MG writing, only occasionally taking a break and going back to my old love, true picture books.
I find that writing primarily Middle Grade has changed my sharpness when it comes to filling the words with a lot of visual possibilities. It's as if my PB pencil is dull, somehow. They really are two different stews.

So I went back to my old notes, and found suggestions for anywhere from fourteen (minimum) to thirty strong illustration possibilities that should just pop to the reader, be it an agent or editor.

Please remind me... What have you been aiming for? I'm sure there are many threads on this, but the search function didn't yield what I was looking for.  :bow
Title: Re: Feeling rusty... How many illustration possibilities have you aimed for?
Post by: Verla Kay on June 26, 2017, 07:05 PM
I recommend 16 to 22 different illustration possibilities for a strong picture book text.
Title: Re: Feeling rusty... How many illustration possibilities have you aimed for?
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on June 26, 2017, 09:23 PM
A picture book should be open to interpretation by an illustrator. The text gets 28 pages, but some can be done as spreads. Sometimes a series of spots is more fitting for a page than a single image. And endpapers, etc., can also be illustrated. This makes this a tough question. But keep the parameters in mind and sketch a dummy to see how it fits.
Title: Re: Feeling rusty... How many illustration possibilities have you aimed for?
Post by: 217mom on June 27, 2017, 09:57 AM
Thank you for the reminders. Yes, I do mark the possible page breaks for myself, and the possible illustrations. (Just for my own sense on whether this is not a magazine piece.) But I find Verla's concrete numbers re-assuring, and she should know!  :yup

Incidentally, when an editor calls a manuscript "slight," they often mean "not deep or consequential." But they can also mean not visual enough to merit a PB.  I can't know what another would think deep or consequential, because many published books are neither IMO. But visuals I do understand, and I agree that a manuscript has to evoke many strong visuals.
It's the *how many* I was wondering about.