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Notes to Illustrator

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Hi!

I know that notes to the illustrator are not recommended in picture book manuscripts, but I have 6 in mine.  :twitch I am very nervous about this, but they are absolutely necessary to make this book work.

I have written this book on 3 different levels. The main character is talking to the reader, having internal conversation with himself, and since the whole idea of the story is that he has misinterpreted the things that are going on around him....the pictures aren't always exactly what the text might say.

The notes ARE necessary because of this. Is this a problem? Is 6 too many?

Also, I read somewhere (probably on here) that some people like to change the color of the text for notes to the illustrator so that the flow of the editor's reading isn't really slowed down.

Do you think that this would help? Help please! Thanks!  ::-)
#1 - March 19, 2014, 08:29 AM
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 10:38 AM by jessica-balseca »

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If they're necessary, include them. Yours are necessary. However, keep them as short and simple as possible.

There was a very good article in the SCBWI Bulletin on this in 2013. Since you are a member, you might want to check the archives. It was about writing an almost wordless book and had samples of the notes.

#2 - March 24, 2014, 08:48 AM
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 08:50 AM by Debbie Vilardi »
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Don't stress. Include them if they're necessary. Most of my mss. have at least one. I was only told once that I had too many--and not to do it. (I had, maybe ten.)
#3 - March 24, 2014, 09:02 AM
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Thank you both for your help!
#4 - March 24, 2014, 12:28 PM

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In the rare instances I've needed to include illustration notes, I've put them in italics and parentheses.  I hadn't heard the idea of putting them in color, but it makes sense!
#5 - March 24, 2014, 06:36 PM

I'm unsure but I feel, in general, if one "show; don't tell" in their writing then the need for illustration notes might be lessened?

In this particular case, if there is a direct contrast between what is said and what is imagined then illustration notes would be seem necessary.
#6 - June 22, 2014, 12:23 PM

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I've always just put notes in parentheses. I've always put in as many as I wanted because I illustrate my own work, but if you are writing notes for a separate illustrator it doesn't hurt to have a crit partner look with illo notes in mind. Usually you will want to include anything that the ms needs to make sense. Or where the text says one thing but the illustrations show something completely different. A crit partner can help you weed out ones that aren't necessary. But yes use as few as possible and keep them brief.
#7 - June 22, 2014, 02:55 PM
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 02:57 PM by Artemesia »
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Most of mine have at least a couple.
#8 - June 22, 2014, 05:22 PM
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Many of my pbs went out with at least 6 art notes.
#9 - July 10, 2014, 08:08 PM
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Me too. I always have a few art notes. Here's some advice that I think my agent once shared ... make sure your text can be read cleanly, without interruption, so that your reader can get a sense of the rhythm. In other words, try not to clutter the body of your text with too many notes. Maybe even tab them over to one side.
#10 - July 11, 2014, 09:31 AM
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