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How to format a rhyming Picture Book manuscript for submission?

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I have a rhyming Picture Book manuscript that is just about submission ready. But I find myself in a quandary as to how to format it. We often get to see finished Picture books in rhyme, but not their corresponding submission letters, so I feel a bit stuck.
In particular, my problem is that this story has direct speech by different characters. One character says a block of speech that goes for two (short) stanzas, and I am reluctant to put a break in the middle of it.
My gut feeling is to format the text in usual paragraphs to best represent the story. But it is verse, so must it be in stanzas?
I would love to hear what others have done in this situation. (I couldn't find a clear answer here or on the usual "go to" websites (e.g. Harold's, and Dori's).
Suggestions anyone?
Thanks!
#1 - November 26, 2015, 05:39 PM
I've Got a Tail! - Amicus Ink 2020

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If it were my ms., I'd keep it in stanzas as much as possible. That's what editors expect to see. Above all you don't want to come across as an amateur.

I'm not sure there are any rules to cover your particular situation. In fact, I'm not sure I understand the question. But, if I interpret you right, here's how I'd do it:

Note to editor: The character speaking is designated within parens. and should not be considered part of the text.

(John speaks:)             

I knew the rule that, when at school
And gazing at a map,
It wasn’t wise to shut your eyes
And take a little nap.

(Mary speaks:)

I dreamt I saw the seven seas,
I wanted to explore.
I went by train, by boat, by plane
And gazed on every shore.

(John speaks:)

I took a bus to Marrakesh,
A taxi to Peru.

(Mary speaks:)

I rode a mule to Istanbul
A yak to Timbuktu.


Does this solve the problem? Editors know that not every manuscript can be formatted according to the rules. So just make it as clear as you can, and if there are any remaining problems, mention them in the cover letter.

#2 - November 26, 2015, 08:27 PM
« Last Edit: November 26, 2015, 08:30 PM by Betsy »
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Nice work Betsy! Yes this is how I would do it, too.
#3 - November 27, 2015, 04:34 AM
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I agree with Betsy.

You should break at end rhymes. You can also indent and use italics if you're alternating between two kinds of meter (or prose and verse).
#4 - November 27, 2015, 04:41 AM
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Perfect answers to this question. Nicely done, Betsy.
#5 - November 27, 2015, 07:09 AM
Verla Kay

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Very good answer from Betsy! I just want to highlight one point--be sure to break your lines at the rhyming words. I have received manuscripts in verse with the text all run together in paragraph form, and that is confusing and difficult to read.
#6 - November 27, 2015, 12:05 PM
Harold Underdown

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You have explained it beautifully, Betsy.Thanks so much, everyone!
 
#7 - November 27, 2015, 02:04 PM
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