SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Genres & Age Categories => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: marla-lesage on May 03, 2016, 05:06 PM

Title: Characters not mentioned in a manuscript
Post by: marla-lesage on May 03, 2016, 05:06 PM
I know its quite common to have a pet or critter in a PB that is in the illustrations but not in the text. Does this ever work with people? I'm contemplating adding a family to my ms, but don"t want to complicate the text with multiple characters.

Can you think of any examples? Or is it a big no no?
Title: Re: Characters not mentioned in a manuscript
Post by: Stephanie Ruble on May 03, 2016, 06:45 PM
I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, but don't see why you couldn't include a family in the illustrations. The important thing is whether it works or not and whether it's adding to the story or not. If not, take them out. If so, leave them in,
Title: Re: Characters not mentioned in a manuscript
Post by: HDWestlund on May 03, 2016, 09:11 PM
I don't think it is always the case, but many times when a character or storyline shows up in the illustrations that isn't in the text, the illustrator has created that character or storyline. But if you have ideas for an illustrated aspect of a story, you could likely include it in notes.
Title: Re: Characters not mentioned in a manuscript
Post by: marla-lesage on May 04, 2016, 03:30 AM
I'm the illustrator too! I think I'll sketch them in and then see if the text fits or needs tweaking.
Title: Re: Characters not mentioned in a manuscript
Post by: Kell on May 04, 2016, 04:45 AM
I have an unpublished picture book that has a characters that appear in the illustrations but who don't otherwise speak. I don't have very specific illustration notes about them, allowing the illustrator to fill in that part, but they are meant as a counterpoint to the main character's action and thoughts.

Of course, this book is unpublished so take that as it is!
Title: Re: Characters not mentioned in a manuscript
Post by: Melissa K on May 04, 2016, 06:10 AM
Uh-Oh by Shutta Crum and Patrice Barton comes to mind. It's almost wordless, so it might not be what you're looking for as a model. The book is about two toddlers on an adventure. Their mothers are in the background watching over them but not otherwise involved.
Title: Re: Characters not mentioned in a manuscript
Post by: Vijaya on May 04, 2016, 06:12 AM
Marla, since you are also illustrating, I don't see why you can't have it pitch perfect! I love it when the illustrations have a parallel storyline. The best I can think of is in concept books where the text is on the concepts (shapes, alphabet, etc.) but the illustrations have a child, critter or family that is doing something in the background related to that concept.

Vijaya
Title: Re: Characters not mentioned in a manuscript
Post by: JFriday on May 04, 2016, 06:27 AM
We're Going on a Bear Hunt comes to mind.
Title: Re: Characters not mentioned in a manuscript
Post by: marla-lesage on May 04, 2016, 06:53 AM
great suggestions!