Monday, September 13, 2010

So you want to write a picture book?

Here are 18 tips before you start writing:


Read books on the craft of writing, especially those on picture book writing.

Read many picture books.

Keep words to less than 1000.

Avoid using adverbs.

Use active verbs.

Combine wordplay and lyricism.

Write with a tight simple style.

Rhyming must be spot on.

Give details (example: use poodle, basenji, etc., not just dog).

Avoid writing a story with a message.

Think in terms of 16 pictures.

Do create a page turner.

Don’t worry about illustrations—the publishing house pairs you with an illustrator.

Holiday stories are hard to sell.

Stories about talking animals or inanimate objects that come to life are hard to sell.

Folktales require a natural storyteller and a storyteller’s voice.

Well-written nonfiction and biographies are always in demand.

Humorous books can be read again and again.

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