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91
Kidlit Genres / How to Pitch This?
« Last post by austin-diamond on October 17, 2022, 02:55 PM »
I received such a great response to my last question, I am hoping lightning strikes twice. :) I am currently in the process of querying, and hopefully what I have sent so far strikes magic. Hopefully also with this thread I will be better armed—like Zeus—to strike even more magically in the future!

My book, ME: A TRUE STORY, is a big-hearted, illustrated fantasy-meets-memoir about a deeply curious, wildly imaginative child on the spectrum with an incredible dream: to achieve world peace, "just by being me!" When he is given a diary and his "box of special paints" for his birthday, he starts creating stories...which come to life, set off an ancient war, and bring the stuff of legend and myth into his world. Perfect for fans of WIMPY KID and MARVEL, with the epic scope of A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING, and significant STEM potential—it launches the "Me-Verse"—a completed series which tells the story of the universe and Life itself, through an epic year at a magical school for Legendaries, and the eyes of a child.

Here's what I'm struggling with.

First of all, I love each part of my book—but I think the biggest selling point is definitely the book (or "series") as a whole. It starts out with a precocious 6-year-old writing his first entry in his diary, which I created to be a stand-alone PB. The next several chapters or "arcs" in the story are meant to create a CB series. The books gradually get more advanced.  By the time the MC enters the "Special World" (the school), we have entered MG territory. Keep in mind that each month moving forward ("Steptember," "Clocktober, "Nowvember," etc) has enough going on that if I am so fortunate for it to happen, I would love to release separately.

Now. The child is growing up at this magical school as each month passes. Steptember and Clocktober were early MG, Nowvember and "Deez Embers" are more middle. Winter Break occurs, and "New Janary" brings a New Quarter. Now here is where a lot of the magic happens. Beginning in "RUE," the characters start to adolescence. In FRU, with a pretty distinct marker, because a big first kiss is coming up—we have entered YA territory.

QUARCH is early YA. Spring Break too. As the Final Quarter commences, SPRILL moves us into middle and upper YA and college, and May into Adulthood. The characters marry, have kids of their own, grow old. Some say goodbye. In J'UNE, the ancient evil is destroyed, and they become kids again. The First Year is completed. They are back where they began, in the month of JOY! again.

So in this ideal world, there is: the original PB; a CB series; MG books as follows (STEP & CLOCK; NOW, DEEZ, & WINTER BREAK; NEW JANARY); YA (RU/RUE/FRU/FRUE; QUARCH & SPRING BREAK; SPRILL) "Adults of All Ages" (MAY - written in a voice young enough to keep the series' growing readers; J'UNE).

...And here's the kicker...everything you've just read is about ONE TENTH of the story.

After this, the MC goes on an adventure through space, time and history. You find out everything you have just read (so-called "Year One")—was called that because it was ONE YEAR BEFORE THE BIG BANG. The Big Bang happens. You go flinging with the MC through the first stars, superclusters, galaxies, into our very own Milky Way and Solar System, to lava-strewn, primordial Earth—and (to make a very long, epic story, very short)—become DNA, evolve to something approaching Dinosaurs, hone tools, make fire, spread out of Africa to every continent—at this point the central narrative splits off, and becomes several separate books as we trace each culture's our own history (THE BOOK OF YU; THE BOOK OF BABA; THE BOOK OF WISH[NU]; ETC—KEEP IN MIND THESE ARE ALL CHARACTERS WHO I INTRODUCED BACK IN MY DIARY IN THE VERY FIRST CHAPTER BOOKS, AND THEN MET AT THE MAGICAL SCHOOL, AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF MY STORY!)—their stories weaving in and out of each other, through pyramids and Jesus and Silk Road expeditions and the Age of Pirates, all the way to the present day. My grandparents. My parents. And, eventually, my own story.

Because this whole entire thing, ME: A TRUE STORY, may seem like a fantasy, but it's actually been a memoir—drawn out over a fantastic expanse.

If you have read all this I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your time. I think you can see why I'm not quite sure the best way how to pitch to an agent. This is not just a "pie-in-the-sky dream"—I have worked for many, many, many years on this, and it's all completed.
93
Picture Books (PB) / Re: How many pages in a picture book?
« Last post by Vijaya on October 13, 2022, 01:50 PM »
:welcome Donna. Although there is quite a bit of variation in the number of actual pages, the actual number of pages will be a multiple of 4. You might see some blank pages or the story starting on the endpaper itself. The standard is 32 pages. Here's a great post by Debbie Ohi with templates you can download: https://debbieohi.com/2015/11/free-picture-book-thumbnail-templates-for-writers-and-illustrators/  Good luck!
94
Picture Books (PB) / How many pages in a picture book?
« Last post by DonnaMiller on October 13, 2022, 08:15 AM »

I have noticed a lot of variation in the number of pages of story content in picture books (not counting copyright pages, etc). 24, 37, 26, 29, 24, 32, 36.

I am working through the book Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul. She suggests making a picture book dummy as part of the process of revising, and (among other things) to focus on pacing and page turns.

How should authors account for the variation in published book length when making dummies and planning page turns?
95
Picture Books (PB) / Re: My blog posts about craft of writing picture books
« Last post by Ree on October 12, 2022, 06:10 AM »
Awesome. Thank you!

Ree
96
Picture Books (PB) / My blog posts about craft of writing picture books
« Last post by nakisa on October 12, 2022, 01:32 AM »
Hi everyone,
I wanted to invite you to visit my blog which is about writing picture books.

www.nakisanooraee.com/picturebookpedia

In each blog post, I discuss one topic and analyze examples of  picture books,

Best wishes,
Nakisa
98
Picture Books (PB) / Re: PB about the dark and cold side of human being?
« Last post by hue on October 09, 2022, 11:58 AM »
Kids face it all the time. They face kids who bully, adults who bully, people who don't show respect for others, selfishness, and many other dark traits. We can't protect kids from this when they are young. And they need to know how to deal with those smaller issues so they can figure out how to deal with bigger issues when they are older.

Of course, there are many books in which kids aren't nice to each other. I'm not coming up with any that are dark though.

Kids face it all the time. They face kids who bully, adults who bully, people who don't show respect for others, selfishness, and many other dark traits. We can't protect kids from this when they are young. And they need to know how to deal with those smaller issues so they can figure out how to deal with bigger issues when they are older.

Of course, there are many books in which kids aren't nice to each other. I'm not coming up with any that are dark though.

Thank you, Debbie! I think you are right, we can't really protect kids from the dark side of life. Showing them how to protect themselves, and starting small is a great idea. Much appreciated!
99
Picture Books (PB) / Re: PB about the dark and cold side of human being?
« Last post by hue on October 09, 2022, 11:56 AM »
Thank you, Vijaya for the books you recommended! Even reading the interview about THE TOWER OF LIFE leaves my heart aching. I'm going to check out those books.
100
Picture Books (PB) / Re: PB about the dark and cold side of human being?
« Last post by Vijaya on October 07, 2022, 07:24 AM »
hue, just this morning I read a wonderful interview on PBB: https://picturebookbuilders.com/2022/10/the-tower-of-life-interview-with-chana-stiefel-and-susan-gal/  There are some lovely PBs about the Jewish holocaust and I wonder whether they're actually read to little kids or older ones. When I look back at my own childhood, I didn't know about it until I read the Diary of Anne Frank at age 10. It slayed me. Call it a loss of innocence.

In the same vein as the Hat books, there's a PB about what happens to a mouse when a cat finds it: On a Dark, Dark Night? My kids loved it even as they lamented the probable fate of the cute little mouse. But then, we lived on a horse acre near the woods at the time so they saw the predator/prey relationships in action. Not the same as people being mean to each other.
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