Marsha Kay Ottum Owen
I am working on my book project. I have figured out which text I want to go on th epages (though I may have way too many (50) pages in my book now). I have a rhyming conversation between a mom and a kid about Uncle Carl who keeps having chickens on him. It has been challenging because there are really two or more things happening, in my mind, during the story while the chckens are gathering on the Uncle. It's a counting book. I decided to have a spread with the first part of verse one with the mom and a daughter then turn the page to see Uncle Carl with the chicken on his head, etc. This is the pattern I was following so that I could illustrate what was happening.
The problems I am having are:
I do not do digital and so I would need to put the text on the pages by hand (unless I found someone to do that or actually got it accepted to be published-Don't know if I have enough years left for that. Should I rough i tin and then add teh pictures or do the pictures first? (Or should I find someone who knows how to do it for me?
I really can't shorten the text so I would need to have less illustration going on, I think. Maybe I have too little variety in types of illustration ex. spot illustrations, spreads, single full page, etc? Maybe I'm making it too complicated.
I'm not satisfied with my illustrations yet. It's a challenge fitting 10 chickens on various parts of the body though I am making progress! I feel like need to "go back to the drawing board" again.
I appreciate any insights or tips. I have books and have watched the classes, etc. Actually doing it is harder than you'd think.
I am not sure if your problem is the number of pages or how to put the text on the page, or the type and number of illustrations or the length of the text...maybe all of these?
Regarding the latter: I have been working in video scripting for quite some time, and have this conversation at least twice a month:
" You want a 3 minutes video. That is, at normal speaking speed, 360 words. I sent you a 320-word script to review and you added two paragraphs, bringing it to nearly 600. That will give you a 5.5 minutes video. You know, as I explained you, that most advertisement and PA videos are watched for only 90 seconds..."
" I know, but there is really nothing we can cut!"
Guess what, the script gets re-written back at 350 words, Sometimes whole messages disappear. And the end-result is invariably stronger.
What I want to say, I guess, is a real-life example of the writer´s advice you can find in nearly every book and blog on writing: There is always a way to cut text and the result is always better.
51 pages is really long for a picture book. There are picture books this long, but they normally target older children, who I guess would not read a counting book. Also, the current recommended length for a picture book is under 500 words.
Obviously it is your book and you can do what you want - but then you can just embrace it and stop worrying!
Regarding bringing the text on the page, my advice would be to put place-holder on the page for where the text should go and do the illustrations. Once you digitalize them via scanning or photography, I would find somebody to help you position the text on the digital file.Obviusly, hand-lettering would be charming too (and apparently is a big trend at the moment, said an AD at the conference)!
Congratulations for taking on this project - I am really looking forward to see the image of uncle Carl with 10 chickens!!
Marsha Kay Ottum Owen
@smceccarelli Thanks. You always give good advice :-) I have a verse for each chicken and there are ten so I kind of can't cut them out but I could probably put more text on the pages and combine a little to make it shorter. less illustrations. There are actually 11 verses with 5 lines each so, it isn't really that long, it's the trouble placing them. I'll keep working on it. Thanks for your support! ..... Again!
I'm glad to see hand lettering is trending :-)
BTW, in your opinion, should the pagination be done first?...oh, placeholders. I guess that's the same thing.