Saturday, 1 November 2008

Planning My New Story

Yesterday was my 2nd day purely dedicated to
working on Lila and Sausage! Below is my new introduction to Jack and Killer. They are now going to appear through Lila's bedroom window, so we know Jack is a little boy that lives over the road (thanks for the idea Cass!).

Although I now have a story-line worked out, I had to sort out the structure before I could do much more drawing. A standard picture book is always the same length: 14 illustrated spreads (double pages). It's no good if it doesn't fit that format.

The best way to get it straight, was to draw 14 rectangles on a piece of paper and see if I could slot the story into them, without running out of space. Guess what? I ran out of space. I needed about 3 more spreads ideally.

So I have been trimming away, deciding which parts of the story can be combined into one image, and losing anything that's not vital.

Once I got it squeezed into the format, I wrote out the text for each page alongside the thumbnails: a good exercise in editing, as it must be trimmed down to the least words possible, to make room for the illustrations, but without losing the sense of the story, or the reader's emotional engagement.

So I now have a proper draft of the story typed out, a plan for each page and very rough sketches of most of the major elements. It's coming along and I already feel less stressed about the Nov 19th deadline!


cassia said...

Go Lynne, go Lynne, go!

*cue cheerleading Elmo from Sesame Street typed dance*

This is looking awesome. You're going to knock them dead!

Lynne Chapman said...

Aw, thank you (think Kermit.

Encouragment much appreciated: I keep losing heart on and off, and wondering who I'm kidding...

granny grimble said...

Don't slow up now Lynne, it's coming on very well. I can't wait to see more detail. Perhaps you will bring Lila, sausage and Jack to visit me soon. Hopefully they are still pretty much sketch book size. I love 'Killer' what a great name. Is he? Or does he hide behind Jacks legs when danger looms?

Lynne Chapman said...

They're all in bits and bobs at the moment. That's my job to get sorted by 19th. I have to keep faith and just get on with it, but I've still got lots of other stuff on next week - won't really start in earnest until Friday.

Killer is a name in tune with Jack's fantasies. He's just a stooge really. The equivalent of Sausage to Lila.

Damian Harvey said...

It's looking great to me Lynne... and it might be good having to wait until next Friday to work on it in more detail. I often find that steeping away from the work for a while helps you look at it with fresh eyes.

Interesting to see you working to 14 spreads as I work to 12 with picture book texts... I'm working on one at the moment that could certainly use another two.

Stick with it x

Lynne Chapman said...

How interesting! I double-checked by counting my way through several of my past titles. I've just counted through An Itch to Scratch: it's still 14 story spreads (plus the single end page). There are 10 in my 24 page picture books.

This could be good news for your current project!

Buskitten said...

Oh, fantastic! I can't believe I've just seen this - I had no idea stories had to be 12 or 14 double page spreads.....
Really great to follow your progress Lynne,