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Day Four - Mapping
Chapters 24 & 25 of How to Write a Children's Book: a 7-day Workshop in a Book
Mapping is the stage in which your book begins to take its actual form.
I highly recommend starting with a 32-page structure.
Yes, you can make your book longer or shorter, but, on average, children's picture books are 32 pages in length. Picture book pages are printed and bound in multiples of eight, so if you do go over, try to keep the page length at a multiple of eight to avoid extra blank pages.
Generally speaking, picture books are laid out like this (note - this part might get confusing due to the amount of pictures. I am posting the picture first and the descriptions are below the image.):
The opposite side of the cover is called the inside cover and does not count as a page.
Page 1 is the Title page. Here, you can put your title, author and illustrator credit, publishing company, ISBN and copyright info.
Some authors choose to illustrate this page as well adding decorative elements as a border or adding characters.
Page 2 is the back of the Title page and is blank. So, as a rule, odd numbers are on the right and even numbers are on the left.
Page 3 is your Dedications page. This isn't required, but it is nice. You can also just put a little illustration here or quote.
Page 4 is blank and is the back of the Dedication page.
Pages 5 through 27 are your story pages. All of the writing you do will go on these pages.
Pages 26 and 27 is for wrapping up your story.
Page 28 is blank. Your "THE END" statement will go on Page 29.
Page 30 is blank, and Page 31 is the Author's Note and Other Books/Learn More details.
The final page is Page 32 which is the back of the Author's Note page and is typically blank.
WHEN I'M WRITING a children's picture book, I use this map to help me stay on track and within the 32-page structure.
STARTING ON PAGE FIVE, you can start filling in your story. The fastest way to plug words into the book map is to copy and paste sentences from Spill Two directly into the document. You may not have enough words to fill pages 5 through 27, but that’s okay. You can always write more.
HERE IS how my first 10-minute sessions turned out using Spill Two of story and a blank book map.
In my book map, I’ve added bold text inside parentheses to signify illustration notes.
Despite copying and pasting most of the text, it took 10 minutes to work my way to page 16 due to adding details about images and sitting with the story as I wrote it.
After a quick break to stretch, I was able to wrap up the book in the second 10-minute session.
DAY FOUR SESSION
Ready your writing implements
Duplicate the Book Map
Set a timer for 10 minutes
Fill the map
Tips: Do not be precious about grammar or spelling. Start to make notes about potential illustrations as the ideas come to you.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from “How To Write A Children’s Book: A 7-Day Workshop In A Book”.
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