Sunday, August 1, 2010

Marion Dane Baur (continued)

Some of Marion's picture book rules (which, she said, may seem obvious):
  • Picture books are short. Most unpublished manuscripts she sees should be cut in half.
  • Every word in a picture book should feed the illustrations. You don't have to create the entire world as you do with a novel.
  • When you're writing, you're writing for rhythm. Keep in mind that an adult will have to read your text maybe a thousand times--great rhythm makes that bearable.
  • Write with attention to page turns in mind--you generally have 14 page spreads.
  • Read read read piles and piles and piles of picture books.
  • You need a fresh idea--and that's not easy. (There isn't much that hasn't been done. You must come up with fresh spins on an old concept.)
  • In picture books, there has to be a payoff for the child. Keep in mind there's nothing a child want more than to take control of his world, while still feeling safe.   

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