Thursday, July 2, 2009

How to write the story for your picture book

It is really hot in Gothenburg! I grew up in Australia so you would think a Swedish summer would be a walk in the park. Unfortunately my English skin is still very English and pale (and full of freckles) and so I am fading... But saying that, I have a new blog post here (so I musn't be suffering too much).

For those of you visiting my blog for the first time this blog post is a continuation of a series I have posted here on 'How to write and illustrate a picture book for your kids' A guide for beginners. If it sounds like something fun for you I encourage you to take a look at the other blog posts.

I’ll start with a little disclaimer. You may have realized already my advice on how to write a children’s story is not particularly technical or academic. What I am describing is just the most fun and practical way I have found for a beginner to write and illustrate a story.

a. You have chosen a theme and a story structure you and your child will enjoy and now is time to put some words to paper (if your book has words that is…). This is where the real fun starts. In a notebook or on a spare piece of paper write down your story. Watch and take note of the images that flow into your head. If what you are writing makes you smile you are on the right track.

Hint: Don’t worry about getting it right you can rewrite later (and there is no right or wrong for the purpose of this exercise). Just have fun and whatever happens.

b. Ok now it is time to break up your story into sentences on pages and to do a little sketch of the image you would like to have on each page. Your little sketch need only be of matchstick men. Play around, write, re-write, draw and re-draw. Have fun.

Hint: Try to keep your book to fewer than 13 pages! If it is too long you may loose interest in illustrating it and your child may loose interest in reading it!

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