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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Writing a Synopsis for Picture Books
« Last post by JodyJS on January 20, 2023, 04:36 AM »
My picture book synopses (more like pitches) usually follow this route (using Little Red Ridinghood):

When Little Red tells a wolf she's going to Grandma's house, the wolf gets there first and gobbles Grandma up. Will Little Red be his next victim? Not if the Woodsman has anything to say about it!

Silly, I know, but I hope it gives you a framework. Good luck!


Picture Books (PB) / Re: Writing a Synopsis for Picture Books
« Last post by Debbie Vilardi on January 19, 2023, 06:13 PM »
A synopsis should not be longer than the manuscript by definition.  Write one sentence for each scene and then tighten it to follow the emotional throughline of the story. Sometimes this replaces the pitch paragraph in a query, but only if it's what is asked for. That query paragraph may provide some of your material.
Picture Books (PB) / Writing a Synopsis for Picture Books
« Last post by aparna-vidyasagar on January 19, 2023, 12:22 PM »
Hello everyone!

A picture book publisher has requested a synopsis along with the manuscript. The manuscript itself is short (about 700 words) and writing a synopsis feels impossible! I have been trying to write a standard 3-4 paragraph summary, but every attempt seems to strip away the energy that the manuscript has.

I saw an old thread here on this topic where the answers have ranged from "no need to provide one" to "just a few sentences."  What does one do when a synopsis is specifically requested (by someone who is familiar with picture books)? What is the publisher expecting?

Thank you in advance for your help and insights!
IMPORTANT BOARD ANNOUNCEMENTS / Re: Continuing the Blue Boards!
« Last post by paul-weiner on January 19, 2023, 10:10 AM »
 I look forward to using the Blueboard.  :yay
Thanks Debbie. 
Yes, definitely important to read the fine print. Your second point confirms my concern. Thanks. I'll have to check SCBWI's pages to see if their awards post the manuscripts.
Have fun finishing the WIP and getting started on this. It may come together as you experiment with the opening and the ideas you have.

And I totally here you about life getting in the way. Losing two days this week to other stuff myself.
Hey Debbie, thanks for the response.

The truth is, this is still so much a concept that I don't know what her voice sounds like yet. I've even toyed with having her be the "main" character but not the POV character, a la Gatsby or Shawshank, and having the narrator who befriends her and tells her story be in that 10-13 range. So she's a kid like him... but also very NOT, and it's something he's wrestling with and trying to understand.

Anyway, gotta finish my current WIP first. I can see the finish line, but stupid life keeps getting in the way  :sigh
Picture Books (PB) / Re: Any tip on how to make a PB really loud?
« Last post by JodyJS on January 18, 2023, 04:29 AM »
Hi Hue,

Not sure if I know what "loud" means in this context, but here are a few thoughts:

1. Use action verbs, rather than non-action verbs ("to be" verbs).
2. Use onomatopoeia.
3. Make the action escalate. Have your character do ridiculous, outrageous things (maybe to try to solve her problem). Or put her in outrageous, ridiculous settings.
4. Use more dialogue than narration.
5. Intersperse short sentences with long ones. Sentence fragments are okay, too.
6. If your book is a "quiet" book by nature--say about the death of a loved one or some other heavy topic--make it stand out in some other way by use of another hook, an interesting character, a new way to look at the subject, a different setting, etc, to make it more "loud."

Picture Books (PB) / Re: Any tip on how to make a PB really loud?
« Last post by steven-andres on January 17, 2023, 04:25 PM »
Hi hue,
The first thing that came to my mind was the book "No, David!" by David Shannon. What could be louder than a rambunctious child?  Now, loud can be achieved through actions, as in "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel," or a character who has an outsized personality.  Loudness can also be a cloak for insecurity and that could be a good theme to explore in a PB.
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