Kids Live In the Imagination. So Should You!
Writing Picture Books can be an incredible journey, but it's not as easy as some people think. Here are a few guidelines to set you on your journey!
Images, images, images. It's all about the images, which doesn't mean you have to be an illustrator. If you're not a serious artist, don't even try to include pictures. Unless you are a serious artist, submit your manuscript without illustrations.
So why consider the images first? Images are the doorway to the imagination. The words, the stories will flow more easily when primed by images.
Picture Books are short. The going word count is less than one-thousand words. The books themselves are usually thirty-two pages, which doesn't include the title, dedication, and copyright pages. This means you have 26 pages to "show, not tell" your story. And not every page needs words.
But don't be fooled by word counts when you are beginning the process of creating your picture book. Dr. Seuss was reputed to have said that he wrote a thousand pages for every one page in his books. Even if a picture book writer cuts that in tenths, you're not far from the truth!
Don't rhyme. Don't moralize. Don't preach. Any lesson you make will be best if it comes as a surprise even to you!
Many picture books are just funny and silly. That's a great lesson in itself!
Take time to explore children's books in your library and bookstore. Exploring online isn't the same as holding the book and being drawn into the words and illustrations!
Take risks. Have fun! Trust the imaginative children's book writer in you!