Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Newcomer's View of the Florida Christian Writers Conference - Part 4

During her mentoring track for children's writing, Christine Harder Tangvald taught us how to lay out our story in a way that helps us to see what works or does not work.

The exercise consisted of generating a printout of the text in a large font size, for example, 18 point, that is triple-spaced. Next, place blocks of text as they might appear in a picture book. If you anticipate a 24-page book, there will be 21 available pages for text and illustrations. If it is a 32-page book, there will be 29 pages available. Paste or tape blocks of text on the appropriate number of blank sheets of copy paper. Use colored markers to designate areas that need more dialogue, where you need to cut words, or where you need to show action or setting rather that narrating it. Make notes for potential placement of illustrations. I stick Post-its on which I have described my ideas for illustrations where I would like them to appear in relationship to the text.

Even though you may not have the final say on layout if your story is published, communicating a clear idea of the flow of the story will be an added selling point when proposing it to an editor. Should you self-publish, it will serve as a preference guideline for the layout department.

                                                                                                  ©2011 Laura Allen Nonemaker

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