Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Book dummy nears completion!

At the beginning of October I posted that my goal for the book dummy class was to finish one book dummy and start on a second one.  I am on track to make that happen.  I have finished all of my rough layouts and have three finished illustrations.  We'll see what the reaction is in class tonight.  It always helps getting a crit to have things pointed out that perhaps haven't been noticed before.  It is a great way to improve, improve, improve!

I am now refining the manuscript for the next dummy and re-working the rough storyboard.  I have two rough illustrations that I worked on when I started refining the manuscript in the spring that will probably be my finished illustrations for the dummy. 

I have several other manuscripts waiting in the wings!  There is never a dull moment!

Picture Book Writer Seminar

Last weekend I took an excellent picture book writer's seminar taught by Marlo Garnsworthy.  The seminar helped to refine my thinking and gave me some tools to make my writing more effective.  I spent yesterday applying what I learned to my manuscripts and even wrote the start of two more, although I have to figure out the ending in one and how to bridge from the start to the end in the other.  But that solution is for another day!

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Book Dummies in Progress

I am on course for finishing my second book dummy and having a good start on my third before the end of the year.  My goal is to actually have the third done, but when it gets closer to the holidays, all bets are off. 

Currently I have finished the storyboard for the second book, and have almost all of the pages blocked out.  Some of the pages also have the start of some detail work completed.  The target age for this book is 3 - 6 years, and consists of 180 words.  I have one place in the manuscript that needs some very minor tweaking and then the manuscript will be perfect.  Any manuscript changes at this point will not change the illustrations or page layouts.  Of course, after I submit it to a publisher, and if they accept it, there will always be changes and I'm OK with that!  That is part of the partnership that goes into producing a great book!

At this point, I need to finish the second dummy before I do any more work on the third.  The third dummy started its life a couple of years ago as what I thought would be an illustrated early reader.  Then, after studying at RISD, I discovered that my 5,500 word manuscript was too long for that format, and too short for a chapter book so it got shelved.  I brought it back out last spring to try and solve the word count problem.  In the end, I cut almost 5,000 words.  I started the process by seeing how many words I could cut by illustrating them instead.  Finally, after an ahah moment, everything became clear and the excess words melted away. OK, they didn't actually melt.  Highlighting the words and pressing the delete key did the actual job, but they were gone none the less!