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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Research => Topic started by: marie-dentan on September 06, 2016, 12:36 AM

Title: characters in picture books
Post by: marie-dentan on September 06, 2016, 12:36 AM
Hello,
I'm working on a picture book, dealing with sibling conflicts. Now I'm having a real little girl fighting a big brother, and someone said that at the moment , it's the trend NOT to have real characters in picture book, and it would be better to transform my characters into animals.
I'm not sure I like it, but can someone confirm that trend? please.  ;D
Title: Re: characters in picture books
Post by: Schriscoe on September 06, 2016, 02:04 AM
First, I am still seeing plenty of PBs with real characters in them. So, human characters are very much a part of the current PB world.

Second, you can also kind of leave that up to the illustrator by not dictating exactly what the siblings are. You never know what direction they may surprise you with.
Title: Re: characters in picture books
Post by: marie-dentan on September 06, 2016, 03:27 AM
thanks, that is big help.
Makes me feel better actually :)
Title: Re: characters in picture books
Post by: Schriscoe on September 06, 2016, 04:24 AM
Oh good! And you are very welcome!! :goodluck

Also, Tara Lazar hasa great post about how her character Normal Norman came to be. Here's the link if you want to check it out:

 https://taralazar.com/tag/blog-tour/
Title: Re: characters in picture books
Post by: Arona on September 06, 2016, 05:51 AM
This doesn't speak to a trend but preferences: I read some blurps from a couple of agents within the last year who said they were tired of seeing animals in PBs. (I doubt kids tire of them.) Others said they didn't want to see any more fairies or princesses. (Princesses are still a big deal.)

Title: Re: characters in picture books
Post by: Betsy on September 06, 2016, 09:59 AM
Editors were saying they were tired of talking animals in picture books when I started sending manuscripts out in 1980. So take it with a grain of salt.

My picture book CINDER EDNA, still in print after decades, was originally going to feature pigs. Trust me, I didn't have pigs in mind when I wrote it--and I was really glad when they decided not to.

Oh, and some were also tired of fractured fairy tales way back then. And look what's happened since.

Same thing with princesses. Write your story the way it feels right to you.
Title: Re: characters in picture books
Post by: Anne Marie on September 06, 2016, 10:05 AM
And anthropomorphized inanimate objects were a HUGE no-no for years, but now we have sentient pencils and apples and buildings.
Title: Re: characters in picture books
Post by: marie-dentan on September 09, 2016, 12:22 AM
thanks guys, it's true. I guess I need to write my story, and not worry about what an editor would think, because his or her ideas will probably have changed by the time I've finished my manuscript.
still it's quite a releave to know that. :)
Title: Re: characters in picture books
Post by: JulieM on September 09, 2016, 03:17 PM
Plus every editor is different with different likes. I am just about to publish a fable, which is not a very popular thing to do these days, I think.
Title: Re: characters in picture books
Post by: marie-dentan on September 10, 2016, 12:57 AM
oh, sounds exciting. I love fables, my kids too!!!! :)