People might think it’s easy to write picture books when in fact the opposite is true. The word count is limited and the text must be simple and succinct, whilst conveying a message or moral to the reader. Audibility is also important because these types of books are meant to be read out loud.
We learned that whilst it’s still ok for writers to produce text for picture books, which are then matched to an illustrator, publishers now tend to look for someone who can do both. That’s me out then!
I did write a picture book story once. It was about a duck who wanted to see the world. He didn’t do as he was told and when it was time for him and his family to migrate, he ended up losing them along the way. His adventures got him in to big trouble but of course eventually he ended up back with his family again having learned a valuable lesson. I mocked up the whole book with some illustrations of my own and boy were they basic! But it did help to see the book as it would potentially be laid out.
Interestingly it just so happens that last week we had a visitor staying with us and he brought with him some gifts for the children. One of them was a book called ‘The Book with no Pictures’, by B.J.Novak, aimed at children who are just beginning to move away from picture books. The concept of this book is brilliant.
Purposely blank, white pages, with large font black text, take the reader through the idea of having to read all the words in a book, even if they don’t make any sense. To illustrate this, random words are thrown in, like ‘blork’ or ‘bluurf’ in red or black ink and funny sentences like ‘my head is made of blueberry pizza’. It’s such a simple concept, but it works so well to convey the message that books without illustrations can still be interesting and fun.
Put it another way, if only I had thought of this as an idea for a book!
Perhaps one day I will have another go at writing a story for younger children. For now, I’m concentrating on my YA novel, which is still moving along nicely. I’m at around 45,000 words now, which isn’t bad going seen as though I don’t write everyday at the moment.
How is your writing going?
What I’m Writing.