When I write a picture book the one thing I make sure of is page breaks. Are there enough? Page breaks can be scene changes or a climatic pause in the story. Think page turners. What will make the reader excited about turning to the next spread?
One way to make sure I’m covering the basics is I will map out a story. Or STORYBOARD it. This is where I will take chunks of text and begin to pace the story over pages. Here are several ways I storyboard.
- I usually start on a piece of paper.
I will create small thumbnails of my story as I go along. Each time I come to a break I’ll go to the next block. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw a lick, this technique will help you visualize your story.
I usually use this piece of paper once. When I have another story ready, I will follow the same format as Picture A.
- I also work a presentation board.
Think of this as thumbnails on steroids. I create a bigger version of my thumbnail and I will also cut up my manuscript and put the words with the pictures they belong to. This will help me see if my pictures match the pacing of my story.
I mark up the board with the same format as Picture A. Then I use post-it notes for my pictures and words. By doing this, I can reuse this board over and over again.
- I have made a small book too.
Once I have my story where I like it I do the ultimate storyboarding. I create a book! What better way to experience your story??? This is the best test to page turns, story climaxes, and scenery changes. You will see the flow and pacing as a read will.
Now it’s your turn.
Pick up your current ms that is ready to go. Begin to storyboard. See where your breaks fall.
I know for me, I usually have a revision of two to do to make sure the pacing matches the page turns.
Until next time,
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