Writing Picture Books, A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication, by Ann Whitford Paul, 248 pages. Ms. Paul has created a workshop in a book. The reader drafts then polishes a picture book manuscript via the following six sections:
· Before you write your story
· Early story decisions
· Structure of your story
· Language of your story
· Tying together loose story ends
· After your story is done
The best aspect of this book: it includes very explicit “how to” examples followed by specific practice tasks. For example in the section on voice, we examine and practice several points of view: third person, first person, journal, etc. The next section discusses some less common points of view such as apostrophe (narrator speaks to something that can’t speak back) and mask (narrator is an inanimate object observing or receiving action). In another section we examine how the various tenses can affect a story and then rewrite parts of our manuscript using them. By the time you have worked through the first five sections, you have a pretty good picture book manuscript. Guaranteed Best Seller? No, but guaranteed decent if you can write at all. While Writing focuses on picture books and their unique requirements, much of the instruction and many of the exercises apply to all writing. It’s a good addition to my library.