I love the concept of self-publishing! Since I’ve been connected with my publishing staff, I’ve learned a lot and have been encouraged as if I was their only client. Then, when mentioning my hope to branch out into children’s book writing, their genuine excitement renewed my enthusiasm and gave me the needed-nudge to move forward. I felt sure that my stories are good, and a few other folks think so, too. Then came possibly the best advice I’ve had so far, “When you talk with our illustrators, talk visually.”
I’ve known for a long time—and practiced—writing with visual/descriptive language is important. It is important for me that my readers are given the best opportunity to see the scene as clearly as I have imagined it. However, I’m not the best verbal communicator. Talking with an illustrator whose creative language is art has become quite a challenge. How can I be specific enough so that an artist understands my version of a “joyful expression”? How will I share my vision of my character’s constant “happiness,” even after a scary event? How many levels of the visual concept of “subdued color” are there?
So recently, I’ve gone to the internet bookstores for more examples. I’ve looked at the covers and first pages of dozens of children’s books and when I come across something that speaks to what I’m hoping to develop, I’m writing out my descriptions of what I see “illustrated.” I am also making note of the book title and author to share with my illustrator. Some of the thoughts repeated in my descriptive sentences are eyes are a focal point for main expressions; basic shapes and sizes are comparable to reality; solid colors are better for younger eyes; and, similar to the words on a written page, blank space is necessary.
I’ve also decided to consult with the person who will be my self-publishing marketing assistant for this project, as well as a friend who is a marketing director in the corporate world. So far, two excellent suggestions have been made: 1) Think Like a Mother. 2) Research Early Childhood Learning. When the mother is shopping, will she imagine herself reading this book to her child? Will it “teach” something of value—something that most mom’s want their child to appreciate? Can the parents point out basic colors and shapes? Are the characters realistic enough for a child to begin associating the picture book image with the real thing?
Discovering all these levels of needed development for my “simple, fun” children’s story has surprised me. But I am not discouraged. In fact, I’m more excited about this project than ever because now I feel I’ll be able to give my grandchildren something even more valuable—something that might survive even to the next generation.
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.|